Memory match: Derby v Preston North End

Preston caused something of an FA Cup shock when they beat Derby County 4-1 at Pride Park in January 2008.

Friday, 24th August 2018, 11:00 am
Preston celebrate the opening goal from Hawley

The Rams were rooted to the foot of the Premier League but North End were not going great guns on the Championship front either.

They were in the bottom three of the table, four points off safety.

So this fourth-round win was a real tonic for PNE who were finding their feet under Alan Irvine who has taken over as manager two months earlier.

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It was the first time North End had beaten a side from the top flight in the FA Cup since 1979 –by coincidence Derby had been their victims 29 years earlier.

Despite the difference in divisions, Preston were on cruise control throughout.

They were 3-0 to the good by half-time and never looked in any danger.

North End had Derby on the back foot from the first whistle.

It was hardly a shock when the visitors got their noses in front.

Andy Todd gave the ball away which let in Chris Brown down the PNE left.

Brown got to the line and waited for Karl Hawley to get into the box before pulling the ball back into his path.

Hawley did the rest with a confident side-foot shot into the right corner.

The home crowd showed their displeasure as Derby found the going tough.

And they got even more upset when Preston doubled their lead in the 33rd minute.

Hawley found team-mate Darren Carter in space, the midfielder in turn finding Simon Whaley who curled a shot past keeper Lewis Price.

Hawley then grabbed a third just before the break to send the PNE fans behind the goal into dreamland.

Todd missed the ball on the edge of the ‘D’, Hawley turning to pick his spot with a confident finish.

Derby were booed from the pitch at half-time with fans chanting “What a load of rubbish.”

In response to what he had seen, Rams boss Paul Jewell made two changes at the break, bringing on Robert Earnshaw and Giles Barnes.

The double switch brought dividends within 10 minutes.

A through-ball released Earnshaw and, in the absence of an offside flag, the Wales striker went on to roll the ball past Andrew Lonergan into the net to reduce the arrears.

For a while Derby had the upper hand and would have cut the lead to a single goal had Lonergan not made a save to deny Robbie Savage.

North End held firm though, with Hawley going on to hit the bar as Irvine’s man re-established their grip on the proceedings.

Youl Mawene also went close with a header.

They were rewarded with a fourth goal as the contest reached the 90th minute.

Substitute Neil Mellor got clear on goal but was brought down by Lewin Nyatanga who was sent off for his troubles.

Mellor picked himself up to take the penalty, sending the keeper the wrong way.

A jubilant Irvine praised his players’ performance.

Irvine said: “You just have to look at results in the FA Cup every year and in every round and there are shocks. I said to my players before the game that I would like us to be one of the shocks.

“If you had asked me what is the most important, the FA Cup or the Championship – I would say the Championship.

“But there is no doubt that the win over Derby was very important. It’s something we can feel good about, and on top of that we had the bonus of scoring a few goals.”