Preston North End retro: Late goal joy for the Lilywhites against Stoke City at the Victoria Ground in April 1991

Graham Shaw’s late winner for Preston North End against Stoke in April 1991 was a sweet moment for the striker.

Thursday, 15th April 2021, 3:11 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th April 2021, 3:12 pm

Shaw stooped to glance a header into the net in the 85th minute of the clash at the Victoria Ground.

It settled the Easter Monday clash in PNE’s favour to the delight of a large away following.

On a personal note for Shaw, his goal silenced the catcalls and jeers from the Stoke supporters.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Preston North End's Lee Cartwright shields the ball against Stoke at the Victoria Ground, watched by Steve Harper

The Potteries-born frontman had come through the ranks at Stoke and played 99 league games before being sold to North End for £70,000 in summer 1989.

He hardly got the warmest of welcomes from the home faithful on his return, hence the winner bringing him so much pleasure.

“It was a really great feeling to score and I thought the win it gave us was well deserved,” said Shaw.

North End had hit a bit of form prior to venturing down the M6, beating Swansea 2-0 and Crewe 5-1 at Deepdale in the days before.

PNE striker Graham Shaw chases a pass against his former club Stoke

They were without Ronnie Jepson for the game, so Ian Bogie was pushed forward from midfield alongside Shaw in the attack.

Lee Cartwright, a couple of months on from his debut, was brought into midfield to cover Bogie’s switch higher up the pitch.Stoke omitted former PNE striker Tony Ellis from their side.

Preston started well and were the better side over the course of the game.

In the first minute Steve Harper volleyed over the bar.

North End's Steve Harper has eyes for the ball against Stoke

At the other end, North End keeper Alan Kelly made a good double save from Wayne Biggins.

PNE left-back Martin James fired just wide after cutting inside.

David Thompson and Harper offered a threat from the wings and were behind many of the visitors’ attacks, Lee Ashcroft later taking over from Thompson to continue the impressive wide play.

Right-back Steve Senior tried his luck with a shot from outside the box which flew over the bar.

PNE's Ian Bogie goes past a Stoke defender at the Victoria Ground

The Victoria Ground had not hosted a 0-0 draw that season, so step forward Shaw to ensure that state of play continued.

There were five minutes remaining when North End won a corner.

When the flag-kick came into the box, the dithering Stoke defence took three attempts to clear it.

The ball eventually came out to Senior on the right-hand touchline.

He was given the time and space to drive a powerful cross into the middle.

Shaw met it on the near side of the six-yard box, leaning forward to glance a header across goalkeeper Peter Fox and into the net via the inside of the far post.

It sparked jubilant scenes in the away end, Shaw celebrating with his arms outstretched.

The PNE fans should have been celebrating again in the 88th minute when good work by Bogie set up Warren Joyce.

But the midfielder’s shot was poor and keeper Fox was able to save.

The sound of the final whistle was the cue for a huge roar from the away end and groans from the home fans in a crowd of 11,524.

It was North End’s first win at the Victoria Ground since September 1947, although this was only their seventh visit since then.

Goalscorer Shaw was to rejoin Stoke in August 1992, with him part of a swap deal which brought Tony Ellis back to Deepdale. In all competitions he scored 42 goals for PNE.

PNE: Kelly, Senior, Flynn, Wrightson, James, Thompson (Ashcroft) , Joyce, Cartwright, Harper, Bogie, Shaw. Subs (not used): Jackson.

Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 per month for the first two months. Try us today by clicking here