Look back to Preston North End's pre-season clash with Spanish side Malaga in 2005

Preston North End welcomed Spanish side Malaga to Deepdale for their final warm-up clash ahead of the 2005/06 campaign.

By Dave Seddon
Tuesday, 7th June 2022, 4:00 pm

The clash with a side which had finished 10th in La Liga a couple of months earlier didn’t exactly catch the imagination of Prestonians, with a crowd of just 2,227 turning up.

It was nevertheless a decent work-out for North End as they looked ahead to the season’s opener at Watford and sough to put the heartache of losing to West Ham in the play-off final behind them.

The game ended goalless although both teams had the chance to claim victory, not that the result mattered a great deal.

Tempers get heated during Preston North End's friendly against Malaga at Deepdale in July 2005

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Fair play to PNE and Malaga, they put the graft in and towards the end things got a touch heated which resulted in a coming together of some of the players.

Referee Mike Pike had to show the yellow card to two visiting players to calm things down and restore a sense of order.

North End manager Billy Davies had given a home debut to Danny Dichio, having signed the tall striker from Millwall in a £160,000 deal.

Preston North End striker Danny Dichio gets above a Malaga defender at Deepdale

Dichio was paired with Richard Cresswell up front for the first hour, before David Nugent and Patrick Agyemang replaced them to give the attack a faster look.

Cresswell twice went close to scoring within the space of 60 seconds early in the contest.

His shot on the turn was pushed behind by Malaga goalkeeper Goitia, and when the resulting corner landed Cresswell’s way, his effort was blocked by the keeper.

Cresswell later got clear of the visitors’ defence as he ran on to a Dichio flick-on. But he hesitated near the box and in the end it was Chris Sedgwick who had a shot which went wide.

Preston North End striker Richard Cresswell has a shot blocked in a goalmouth scramble against Malaga

Malaga made nine substitutions at half-time, while a sprinkling of PNE changes as the second half went on meant the game lost a bit of its flow.

Just before the hour mark, it needed a goalline clearance from Eric Skora to prevent Salva’s header giving Malaga the lead.

PNE: Nash, Alexander (Mears 79), Lucketti (Mawene 57), Davis, Davidson (Broomes 57), Sedgwick (Anyinsah 79), Etuhu (Skora 46), O’Neil, McKenna, Dichio (Nugent 61), Cresswell (Agyemang 61).

Preston North End defender Youl Mawene meets a corner against Malaga