Memory match: Birmingham 1 PNE 2, April 2009

Preston North End's visit to St Andrews in April 2009 was a game packed with drama.
Paul McKenna celebrates with Ross Wallace after scoring Preston's equaliser at Birmingham in April 2009Paul McKenna celebrates with Ross Wallace after scoring Preston's equaliser at Birmingham in April 2009
Paul McKenna celebrates with Ross Wallace after scoring Preston's equaliser at Birmingham in April 2009

They finished with nine men, Birmingham with 10, and PNE clearly had not read the script.

It was meant to the day that the hosts booked their place in the Premier League.

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The Sky cameras were there for the teatime clash and plans had been put in place to try and stop a pitch invasion by Blues supporters celebrating promotion.

As it was, the home side left the pitch to a smattering of booing as North End left the blue corner of the West Midlands stunned.

They bounced back from falling behind to win the game courtesy of top-drawer finishes from Paul McKenna and Ross Wallace.

The winner from Wallace came in the 89th minute and off came his yellow shirt in celebration.

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Already booked, Wallace got a second yellow and then red, joining team-mate Lee Williamson in the dressing room.

Williamson, on loan from Watford, had been dismissed earlier in the second half for a spot of handbags with Lee Bowyer.

The Birmingham man was sent off too – it was a busy game for referee Phil Dowd.

Preston’s victory kept them in the play-off hunt, this the penultimate game of the season.

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Securing a top-six place was a job they secured on the final day against Queens Park Rangers at Deepdale.

An eventful first half saw PNE right-back Billy Jones head Gary O’Connor’s shot off the line, while Neil Mellor slammed an effort against the post with Chris Sedgwick putting the rebound into the side-netting.

Twice, Mellor went down in the box under challenges from Radhi Jaidi, only for Mr Dowd to wave play on.

Early in the second half, Sean St Ledger had the goal at his mercy when meeting a McKenna cross but he put his header wide.

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Birmingham took the lead in the 57th minute, a cross from James McFadden met by Keith Fahey, who headed past Andrew Lonergan.

Although a good cross from McFadden, Fahey took advantage of ball-watching by Sedgwick to find room to get his header in.

Three minutes after the goal, both sides went down to 10 men as Williamson and Bowyer clashed off the ball.

The pair grappled on the floor and then went nose-to-nose when on their feet.

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North End equalised in the 69th minute, Wallace laying the ball off to McKenna.

More than 30 yards out, McKenna took a couple of steps forward and struck a shot which swerved into the net past keeper Maik Taylor.

Birmingham, who needed to win to go up, pushed up to try and restore the lead.

Cameron Jerome put the ball in the net but the effort was ruled out for offside.

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McFadden and Fahey had chances, while at the other end, sub Chris Brown saw a close-range effort saved by Taylor.

North End silenced the previously noisy ground in the 89th minute when they struck their winner.

They were awarded a free-kick 25 yards out, McKenna and Wallace hovering over the ball as the hosts sorted out their wall.

Birmingham expected McKenna to step up but it was Wallace who whipped the sweetest of shots around the wall and into the net.

The Scotsman ran off to celebrate with the Preston fans behind the goal, taking off his shirt and waving it in the air – and was punished by a caution and then a red card.