Retro: Praise for Preston North End from Roy Keane after demolition of Sunderland in 2006

Roy Keane tipped Preston North End as genuine promotion candidates after they brushed aside his Sunderland team at Deepdale in October 2006.

By Dave Seddon
Monday, 28th February 2022, 3:00 pm
Updated Monday, 28th February 2022, 4:28 pm

The Lilywhites cantered to a 4-1 victory over Keane’s Black Cats – the first of three wins against them in the 2006/07 season.

Danny Dichio, Graham Alexander and Simon Whaley found the net for PNE, with Dean Whitehead putting through his own goal.

Paul Simpson’s side were 3-0 up before half-time and four goals to the good early in the second half.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Graham Alexander celebrates with Matt Hill and David Nugent after scoring for PNE from the penalty spot against Sunderland

Sunderland boss Keane said: “There is no doubt in my mind that Preston will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season – whether automatic or the play-offs.

“They are well organised, work their socks off and are a good benchmark for us.”

PNE went into the game in decent form, unbeaten in nine league games.

There was an enforced change up front, Dichio replacing the injured Patrick Agyemang.

Sunderland boss Roy Keane at Deepdale in October 2006

Dichio himself had been a doubt for the game having been ill in the days before, but when Agyemang was a late pull-out after training on the Friday, North End boss Simpson had no alternative.

As it was, Dichio came through fine and his opener in the 18th minute was the big frontman’s first league goal in 42 games.

The goal was set up by Alexander who delivered a fine cross from the right to the far post.

Dichio steamed in to meet it and planted a powerful header into the back of the net from six yards.

Danny Dichio heads Preston North End in front against Sunderland at Deepdale in October 2006

The emotion of ending his league goal drought saw him celebrate with the fans at the front of the Alan Kelly Town End – earning him a yellow card from the referee.

Read More

Read More
Four things we learned from Preston North End’s draw with Coventry City

It was a lead which PNE doubled just beyond the half-hour mark.

Whaley was clipped by Nyron Nosworthy in the box and Alexander tucked away the resulting penalty – one which went in between the right hand of Sunderland keeper Ben Alnwick and the inside of the post.

Four minutes later, the home side made it 3-0, David Nugent’s cross from the right hand side of the box which was aimed at Dichio, but turned into his own net by Whitehead as he tried to cut it out.

Early in the second half, Nugent was denied by the woodwork when his shot from the edge of the box came back off the bar.

North End only had to wait until the 55th minute for their fourth goal.

Taking possession 25 yards out, Whaley hit a low shot which clipped off a Sunderland boot and travelled into the net past the reach of Alnwick.

Sunderland grabbed a consolation goal soon after, Stanislav Varga heading in.

PNE completed a league double over Keane’s men when they won 1-0 on Wearside two months later.

The sides then met in the FA Cup, North End winning by the same scoreline.

PNE: Nash, Alexander, St Ledger, Chilvers, Hill, Sedgwick, McKenna, Pugh (Davidson 79), Whaley (Neal 74), Nugent (Oremrod 70), Dichio. Subs (not used): Wilson, Lonergan.

>>We deserved more than two draws says PNE manager Ryan Lowe