Memory match: Preston North End's victory over Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough in 2000

Three goals in a 19-minute spell turned Preston North End’s clash with Sheffield Wednesday in September 2000 on its head.

Friday, 29th January 2021, 3:00 pm
Graham Alexander is congratulated by Michael Appleton after scoring in Preston North End's win against Sheffield Wednesday in September 2000

PNE trailed 1-0 against the run of play at half-time but Graham Alexander and Iain Anderson struck to hand them the advantage, with a Des Walker own goal clinching the three points.

It gave North End their first win at Hillsborough since 1950.

They hadn’t visited for 20 years when David Moyes took his newly-promoted side over the Pennines.

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PNE striker Brian McBride in action against Sheffield Wednesday

Moyes’ boys had started life back in the second tier strongly and this victory just enhanced that start.

They bossed much of the first-half play, with Brian McBride and Paul McKenna having early chances.

There was a little flurry of activity from Wednesday, with PNE goalkeeper David Lucas getting a glove to Terry Cooke’s low drive at full stretch . Lucas then made a more routine save from Andy Booth’s looping header.

McKenna was twice denied by Owls keeper Kevin Pressman as North End went in search of a goal.

PNE skipper Sean Gregan challenges against Sheffield Wednesday

It was Wednesday who took the lead though, in the 35th minute.

Owen Morrison cut inside from the left channel and curled a fine right-foot shot past David Lucas into the far corner of the net.

Moyes was forced into a double substitution during half time.

Both McKenna and Steve Basham had picked up injuries in the first half and were not able to resume.

Anderson and Stephen Robinson were summoned from the bench, Anderson playing on the wing and Robinson as a makeshift striker.

Both subs were heavily involved in the second-half comeback.

American striker McBride, still chasing the first goal of his loan spell, saw a 51st-minute shot come back off the near post.

North End equalised six minutes after that McBride chance.

Anderson was tripped by Wednesday’s Alan Quinn outside the left-hand corner of the box.

Alexander lined up to take the free-kick and whipped a fine right-foot shot round the wall and into the far corner, catching Pressman slightly out of position.

Gilles De Bilde should have restored Wednesday’s lead soon after but headed over from close range under pressure from Sean Gregan and Mark Rankine.

North End went ahead with 69 minutes of the clock. Michael Appleton’s pass fed Anderson on the left wing, the Scotsman coming inside off the channel and curling a shot into the far corner – a finish seen from him plenty of times.

Victory was wrapped up with 13 minutes left.

Anderson was blocked outside the box by Ritchie Humphreys to win a free-kick.

Alexander squared it to Robinson in the box, his shot on target but sliced into the opposition side of the net by former England centre-back Walker as he tried to clear.

There was still time for PNE to squander the chance to score a fourth goal.

Robinson’s pass teed up Appleton just six yards out but the midfielder lifted his shot too high.

Had that gone in, no one would have begrudged an even greater margin of victory for the visitors.

Delighted PNE manager Moyes said: “It could have been more but I will settle for three goals away from home every week.”

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