Preston North End retro: The night it all started for David Moyes as a manager

On Thursday night David Moyes will celebrate his 1,000th game as a manager.

By Dave Seddon
Tuesday, 2nd November 2021, 3:00 pm

The milestone moment will be reached by Moyes in the Belgian city of Genk where West Ham United venture in the Europa League.

The surroundings were all a bit different for Moyes’ first match as the boss.

At the age of 34, he was named Preston North End manager on January 12, 1998.

David Moyes watches on from the touchline in his first game as Preston North End manager in January 1998

A day later, he took the Lilywhites to Moss Rose to face Macclesfield Town in an Auto Windscreens Shield second round clash.

It was cold, wet, muddy and dark – during half-time the lights in the main stand blew and the power of the floodlights dimmed for the second half.

Moyes made a winning start, Lee Cartwright scoring the game’s only goal in the 49th minute.

In terms of a victory in the league, that came at the eighth time of asking and more than six weeks later for Moyes – a 2-0 win at Bournemouth.

Lee Cartwright fires PNE's winner against Macclesfield at Moss Rose

Moyes, who had joined PNE as a player in September 1993, had been assistant manager under Gary Peters.

When Peters stepped down after a 3-1 home defeat to Gillingham, chairman Bryan Gray named the man he’d always regarded as next in line for the job – Moyes.

He wasn’t everyone’s choice, Liverpool legend Ian Rush was the name doing the rounds on the terraces.

Even a few days into Moyes’ reign, Gray had to reiterate in the media that this was not a case of the Scot keeping the seat warm for someone else.

The PNE players are forced to wait on the pitch at full-time after the lights blew in the dressing room at Macclesfield

Moyes made six changes to the team at Macclesfield, that number not a huge surprise bearing in mind PNE’s form and the fact this was an AWS clash.

One of the changes was a big surprise, Simon Davey coming into the side for his first appearance at senior level for eight months.

Davey was full of energy and running in midfield, the Welshman anxious to make up for lost time.

This was a second attempt to play this tie, a waterlogged pitch having forced it to be postponed the week before.

North End striker Kurt Nogan battles for possession against Macclesfield

Conditions weren’t a great deal better this time but referee Tony Bates gave it the green light.

The last 30 minutes were played in a downpour which made for difficult conditions.

Both teams played some good football despite the heavy pitch and rain, this Macc’s first season as a Football League club.

PNE midfielder Mark Rankine got clear in the box in the first half but over ran the ball.

Davey had a shot beaten out by the home keeper and Tony Lormor’s follow-up was blocked close to the line.

North End’s winner came in the 49th minute, David Eyres finding Dean Barrick on the left. Barrick’s cross was headed on by Kurt Nogan for Cartwright to drive a finish into the net.

Ever the professional, Moyes picked himself to play in the reserves the following night to maintain his fitness.

PNE: Lucas, Parkinson, Jackson, Kidd, Barrick, Cartwright, Davey, Rankine, Eyres, Nogan (Holt), Lormor. Subs (not used): Murdock, Appleton.

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