Preston North End's precious away point from their March 1990 visit to Blackpool

While a trip to the seaside might be frowned upon at the moment, Preston North End's visit to the Fylde coast did them a world of good in March 1990.

Wednesday, 3rd June 2020, 3:01 pm
Updated Wednesday, 3rd June 2020, 3:02 pm
Graham Shaw celebrates giving Preston North End the lead against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road on March 10, 1990

Their 2-2 draw with Blackpool at Bloomfield Road was only the eighth point they had gained from 16 league away games that season.

Until this March 10 meeting, wins at Northampton and Bury, together with a 2-2 draw at Mansfield, had been as good as it had got on their travels.

Goals from Graham Shaw and Brian Mooney, sandwiched either side of Gary Brook and Andy Garner netting for the home side, secured North End a precious point.

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Graham Shaw lifts the ball over Blackpool keeper Steve McIlhargey for PNE's opener

The derby clash was played in front of Blackpool's biggest league attendance of the season so far - 8,108 - with around 4,000 making the trip along the M55 from Preston.

It was a decent performance from PNE, bearing in mind they had lost their last three away games, one of those being a 6-0 thumping at Reading.

For recently installed caretaker manager Les Chapman, it was a first point on the road under his stewardship.

Chapman moved centre-half Mike Flynn into a midfield role for this game, teaming him up with Warren Joyce.

Preston's Mike Flynn (No.10) sees a header blocked in the Blackpool box, watched by Graham Shaw and Adrian Hughes

Their no-nonsense approach in the engine room allowed Mooney and Sammy McIlroy more time on the ball to be creative.

Flynn was involved in North End opening the scoring with just two minutes on the clock.

He burst forward from the centre circle being playing a measured pass into the path of Shaw.

The striker reached it momentarily ahead of Blackpool goalkeeper Steve McIlhargey and lifted a shot over him and into the net.

PNE supporters in the away end at Bloomfield Road

Blackpool responded with Garner forcing Alan Kelly into a good save.

McIlroy saw a thumping shot tipped over by McIlhargey before Blackpool equalised in the 26th minute.

David Eyres' corner was misjudged by Alan Kelly who looked to have got a shove, that allowing Brook to head home.

The Seasiders then took the lead just before half-time when referee Trelford Mills pointed to the spot after Garner went down in the box.

Brian Mooney celebrates scoring Preston's equaliser at Blackpool

It was Garner who stepped up to put the penalty past Kelly.

North End responded well after the interval, Flynn hitting the post with a header and John Thomas saw his follow-up well saved by McIlhargey.

They equalised in the 70th minute with a goal of some quality.

McIlroy's pass found the excellent Mooney who checked inside a defender before hitting the sweetest of right-foot shots across the keeper and into the net off the inside of the far post.

Late chances came at both ends - Mooney clearing off the line from a Carl Richards shot, while at the other end PNE right-back Neil Williams headed wide from a good position.

Honours even then, however a decent point and a much improved away performance from the Lilywhites.

PNE: Kelly, Williams, Hughes, Wrightson, Swann, Mooney, Joyce, Flynn, McIlroy, Thomas, Shaw. Subs (not used): Harper, Atkins.