Preston North End retro: Two goals for Paul Mariner in Ipswich's 3-0 FA Cup win at Deepdale in January 1980

Football mourned the loss of Paul Mariner last week, the former England striker passing away at the age of 68 after suffering from brain cancer.

Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 5:14 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 5:20 pm

Born in Farnworth, he started his career with Chorley, his form at Victory Park earning him a move to league football with Plymouth Argyle in 1973.

Preston North End had watched him in action in his Chorley days but made their move for him too late, he’d agreed to sign for Argyle when PNE came in.

He played once for the Devon club at Deepdale, his second visit coming in the colours of Ipswich Town in the FA Cup in January 1980.

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Preston North End striker Alex Bruce shapes to cross against Ipswich in the FA Cup in January 1980

Ipswich were a top-flight club then and had won the FA Cup in 1978.

North End were drawn to face them in the third round in January 1980.

It was an intriguing tie, PNE going well in the Second Division under Nobby Stiles and Ipswich at the top end of Division One.

The Suffolk club were managed by Bobby Robson, their forward line boasting Mariner, Eric Gates and Alan Brazil.

Paul Mariner celebrates scoring for Ipswich against PNE

Dutch duo Arnold Muhren and Frans Thijssen were in midfield with John Wark, while at the back they had the imposing figure of Terry Butcher.

At the time, there were rumours the game would be shown on Match of the Day, however the word was the Deepdale floodlights weren’t bright enough for the cameras in the January gloom.

North End’s performance in the first half was as good as anything produced that season, creating a host of opportunities.

Those chances weren’t taken though, Ipswich taking advantage to step up after the interval and score three second-half goals.

PNE keeper Roy Tunks challenges with Ipswich striker Paul Mariner

Mariner got their first and third, Brazil netting the second with a great finish.

The game was watched by Deepdale’s highest crowd of the season, 16,986.

PNE started strongly, with Paul McGee played clear by Alex Bruce in the fifth minute, only for Ipswich keeper Paul Cooper to save his shot. Bruce, McGee and Don O’Riordan had further chances.

Butcher also had to hack clear from a muddy and sanded goalmouth after a big scramble in the box.

Ipswich keeper Paul Cooper catches a cross during a PNE attack

The tables turned the way of Ipswich when they took the lead in the 56th minute.

Thijssen’s cross found Gates, who knocked it through for Mariner to shoot past PNE keeper Roy Tunks.

Ipswich doubled their lead 10 minutes later with a finish of the highest quality.

George Burley’s cross from the right was headed out by Mick Baxter, but the ball dropped to Brazil who rifled a shot past Tunks from the edge of the box.

The visitors’ third goal killed the game as a contest, Muhren and Brazil linking up to play in Mariner, who finished well.

Late on, Steve Elliott hit the post as North End looked for a consolation – the very least they deserved.

PNE: Tunks, Taylor, Baxter, O’Riordan, McAteer, Doyle, Haslegrave, Bell, McGee, Bruce, Elliott. Sub (not used): Cochrane.

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