Preston North End flashback: Jack Grealish's penalty woe playing for Notts County at Deepdale

Jack Grealish signed for Manchester City from Aston Villa in a £100m deal last week to become Britain’s most expensive footballer.

Wednesday, 11th August 2021, 3:00 pm

Jack Grealish signed for Manchester City from Aston Villa in a £100m deal last week to become Britain’s most expensive footballer.

Seven years ago he played against Preston North End during a season spent on loan with Notts County.

Aged 18, Grealish had an afternoon he’d rather forget at Deepdale.

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Preston striker Craig Davies is fouled by Jack Grealish, playing on loan for Notts County, in February 2014

The midfielder conceded a penalty and finished on the losing side as North End won 2-0 in the League One clash on February 1, 2014.

Craig Davies was the man who made the headlines that afternoon, scoring on his PNE debut after signing on loan from Bolton Wanderers the day before.

The striker’s goal put the Lilywhites 1-0 up, Davies was then fouled by Grealish for a penalty which Joe Garner found the net with.

It was a needed victory for them after a winless January in the league.

Joe Garner puts away a penalty for PNE against Notts County at Deepdale

PNE had gone shopping on transfer deadline day to secure the much-travelled Davies on loan for the rest of the season.

It was the 13th stop-off in Davies’ career but North End felt they could get the best out of him.

They took more than an hour to make a breakthrough in this game, a below-par first-half display giving way to a much better second.

Assistant manager Glynn Snodin revealed a half-time blast from both him and boss Simon Grayson seemed to have sparked a reaction.

John Welsh has a shot for PNE against Notts County as Jack Grealish looks on

“They usually get good cop and bad cop in there, but it was bad cop and bad cop,” said Grayson’s No.2.

North End found Magpies keeper Kevin Pilkington in good form, the gloveman playing his first game in 10 months as first-choice Bartosz Bialkowski was ill.

He made a string of saves, and also saw team-mates Andre Boucaud and Gareth Roberts clear off the line when two Davies’ efforts went past him.

Paul Gallagher forced the first save of the day out of him after just two minutes, Pilkington saving at the foot of the post from a free-kick.

Craig Davies fires PNE ahead against Notts County at Deepdale in February 2014

The keeper came out on top of one-on-ones with Lee Holmes and Garner, while at the other end Grealish put a shot wide after scampering clear down the right-wing.

North End took the lead in the 65th minute and was a great way for Davies to announce himself to the Deepdale faithful.

Gallagher’s low ball into feet found Davies just inside the box, the striker turning and firing a right-foot shot into the far top corner.

The second goal came six minutes later, a North End attack briefly interrupted when the ball hit Grealish.

It broke into Davies’ path, Grealish making a challenge from behind on the edge of the box which saw ref Tony Harrington point to the spot.

Garner’s penalty found the net, that the striker’s 14th goal of the season.

County’s midfield that day also included Callum McGregor who was on loan from Celtic – he’s now skipper at Celtic Park.

PNE: Rudd, Wiseman, Clarke, Wright, Buchanan, Gallagher (Humphrey 82), Welsh, Kilkenny, Holmes (Keane 89), Garner, Davies (Hume 78). Subs (unused): Laird, King, Beavon, Stuckmann.