Memory Match: Jon Parkin was Preston's late hero against Birmingham City in December 2008
Jon Parkin was Preston North End’s super-sub in their 1-0 win over Birmingham City at Deepdale in December 2008
For the second time in five days, the Beast came off the bench to fire a late winner.
He’d done so in the 82nd minute to secure a 1-0 victory over Doncaster.
Parkin left it even later against the Blues, chesting down and firing home Ross Wallace’s cross a minute into stoppage-time.
Those two strikes were his first goals in PNE colours since a £275,000 move from Stoke three months earlier.
It had been a hard fought game against Birmingham who were going well in the upper reaches of the table.
Their presence up there had attracted the Sky Sports cameras to Deepdale for this teatime kick-off.
North End put their heads in where it hurts to help take three points.
Defenders Sean St Ledger and Eddie Nolan played part of the game with bandaged heads – St Ledger needing stitches and Nolan having a cut on his scalp glued.
Keeper Andrew Lonergan also needed stitches in a cut lip after colliding with Blues striker Marcus Bent.
It was well worth the discomfort for the trio, with them heading off for well deserved beer at the players’ Christmas party.
This was a fourth win at Deepdale on the bounce for PNE and meant they reached the half-way point of the season in good health.
North End were the better side in the first half, with the visitors needing goalkeeper Maik Taylor to dig them out of trouble on three occasions.
He saved well from Wallace, Callum Davidson and Paul McKenna as the home side attacked on the front foot.
Lonergan wasn’t idle at the other end though, saving low down from Lee Carsley’s daisy-cutter.
The PNE keeper was to make the save of the game in the second half, diving to hold a header from Kevin Phillips on the line.
With the game goalless as it entered its final stages, North End manager Alan Irvine unleashed the Beast from the bench in the 78th minute, with him replacing Chris Brown.
His presence up front gave the Lilywhites a new focal point and it was to be a change which worked perfectly, as it had done the previous Tuesday night.
The game was in the first minute of time added on when Karl Hawley who like Parkin was on as a sub, fed a pass down the left-wing to find Wallace.
Wallace moved forward down the wing and lifted a cross into the middle which dropped over Birmingham defender Liam Ridgewell.
With that little bit more room to work in, Parkin was able to chest the ball down and stab a shot past Taylor to the delight of the home fans.
Providing the assist gave great joy to Wallace, with him on loan at the time from Sunderland and looking to make the move permanent the following month.
Having also set up Parkin’s winner against Doncaster, that time from the opposite wing, it was good timing to find some form.
North End saw out the last couple of minutes of addition time without incident to put the points on the board.
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