Memory match: QPR 0 Preston North End 2, November 2005
Goals from David Nugent and Callum Davidson delivered capital gains for Preston in their November 2005 clash with Queens Park Rangers.
The pair found the net in the last half-hour at Loftus Road, the midweek 2-0 win extending a decent run on the road.
Nugent scored with his first touch after coming off the bench.
The striker had travelled to London with little hope of playing after limping off at half-time three days earlier against Cardiff.
He recovered sufficiently to be a substitute and came up trumps when PNE boss Billy Davies took a gamble and put him on in search of a goal.
Left-back Davidson struck late in the contest to wrap up the three points.
Until Nugent’s arrival, the game looked to be heading for a goalless draw.
There was plenty of effort from both sides but a cutting edge was lacking, the contest developing into a scrap.
Carlo Nash was busy in the first half, the keeper saving twice from Lee Cook.
Shazz Baidoo had the ball in the net but the ‘goal’ was chalked off as the striker had used his hand.
But it wasn’t all one-way traffic, lone striker Patrick Aygemang testing Rangers goalkeeper Simon Royce a couple of time.
Agyemang had to plough a lone furrow until the 58th minute when Nugent joined him up front, replacing Adam Nowland.
The 4-4-1-1 system became 4-4-2 and the change brought an instant reward as Preston took the lead on the hour.
Graham Alexander’s pass down the right flank was chased by Agyemang.
He got beyond his marker and put in a low cross which Nugent scooped into the roof of the net from six yards.
With the bit between their teeth, North End went on the hunt for a second goal.
Nugent and Agyemang couldn’t get enough on shots when the ball broke their way in a penalty box scramble.
Then Nugent cut inside from the left and forced a good save from Royce at the near post.
Victory was assured in the 85th minute when Preston got their second goal.
Marcus Bignot was caught in possession just outside his own box.
The ball broke into the path of Davidson who darted into the box and fired a low shot past Royce.
It was a fourth win on the road for North End, coupled with four draws – not a bad record in 10 games.
Nugent’s recovery to play his part from the bench came as a surprise to his manager who had all but ruled him out.
Davies said: “Nuge couldn’t straighten his leg on Saturday and we were very concerned.
“We were thinking he could be out for anything from two weeks to 10 weeks.
“But surprisingly he came in on Sunday morning and could straighten it.
“We got a little glimmer of hope that it might not be as long as 10 weeks.
“But we didn’t expect him to ready for the game.
“On Monday he was able to do what was required of him on the training ground and we decided to take a chance with him.
“Nuge was still feeling it a little bit but we both agreed he should play some part.
“We could have erred on the side of caution by giving him a few more days.
“But he is such a vital player, such a wonderful finisher and such a threat – as he showed when he got out there.
“He has the ability to win a game with one touch.”