Memory match: Preston North End and Coventry City's eight-goal thriller at Sixfields

Preston North End and Coventry City fought out an amazing eight-goal thriller when they met at Sixfields in August 2013.

By Dave Seddon
Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 3:00 pm

They drew 4-4, both sides scoring in stoppage time as the action continued until the last whistle.

Three times PNE led and when Chris Humphrey scored beyond the 90-minute mark to make it 4-3, they looked home and hosed.

But in the final minutes of time added on, the Sky Blues pulled level again.

Joel Bryom scores for Preston North End in their 4-4 draw at Coventry in August 2013

Tom Clarke Bailey Wright and Joel Byrom were North End’s other goalscorers in the Sunday afternoon clash.

The game was played at Northampton Town’s Sixfields ground after Coventry had been uprooted from their Ricoh Arena home.

History has almost repeated itself in the last two seasons, with them currently playing home games at Birmingham City’s ground.

It will be to St Andrew’s where PNE head on Saturday for their latest meeting with Coventry.

Bailey Wright is congratulated by Joe Garner after his goal for PNE in the 4-4 draw at Coventry

This was a fourth league draw on the spin for North End at the start of the 2013/14 campaign.

In among the draws though, was the 1-0 win over Blackpool in the League Cup.

Clarke had famously put the ball in the Blackpool net three weeks earlier and it was the defender who gave the Lilywhites a 10th minute lead against Coventry.

Lee Holmes’ corner was flicked on by Paul Huntington and Clarke volleyed home at the far post.

Chris Humphrey scores for PNE against Coventry at Sixfields

Coventry equalised in the 24th minute, Callum Wilson skipping past a challenge from Wright and crossing low for Leon Clarke to shoot past Declan Rudd.

It stayed at 1-1 until well into the second half when things went goal crazy, although there were a couple of close calls for PNE.

Coventry’s Clarke struck the bar with a free-kick then he later got clear on goal but put his shot over the bar.

Wright restored North End’s lead in the 65th minute, shortly after Simon Grayson had made a double change, bringing on Humphrey and John Mousinho.

Tom Clarke, Keith Keane and Joe Garner celebrate for North End at Coventry

A shot from Mousinho forced a corner which led to Wright finding the net – it was a fine finish too.

The corner was cleared out of the box and fell to Wright, the Australian defender volleying it home from 25 yards.

Coventry restored parity within five minutes, Franck Moussa’s shot parried by Rudd with Wilson following in to tap home the rebound.

In the 83rd minute, the home side then led for the one and only time in the contest.

Wilson – who now leads the Newcastle attack – got in front of Huntington to steer in his second goal of the game.

North End equalised to make it 3-3 in the 87th minute, substitute Byrom rising to meet Clarke’s cross and send a header into the net.

With the clock moving into time added on, surely there wouldn’t be further drama? But there was, starting with a PNE goal which looked to have secured them a point.

Kevin Davies tussled with Blair Adams to win a long ball from the back and flick it on.

The Coventry defence expected Davies to be pulled up for a foul but the referee waved play on, Humphrey getting to the ball before the keeper to lift it into the net.

That should have been game over but in the dying moments the hosts levelled to make it 4-4.

Cyrus Christie’s low cross found Mathieu Manset six yards out, the substitute back-healing the ball into the net to earn a share of the spoils.

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