Memory match: Sheff Utd v PNE, FA Cup 4th round replay 2015

Preston have good memories of their last visit to Bramall Lane three years ago which came in the fourth round of the FA Cup '“ the stage of the competition in which they face Sheffield United this weekend.

Thursday, 25th January 2018, 11:00 am
Paul Huntington celebrates scoring PNE's second goal against Sheffield United

They ventured to South Yorkshire for a replay having drawn with the Blades 10 days earlier at Deepdale.

At stake was a home tie with Manchester United in the fifth round, a prize worth huge money.

PNE crossed the Pennines as anything but favourites for the game.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

They had endured a torrid January, winning just one of their eight games.

It was hoped February would bring more joy and that proved to be the case.

North End battled back from falling a goal behind to win 3-1.

Both scorers that night, Paul Gallagher (2) and Paul Huntington, are still at the club and will be in the squad on Saturday.

There was a return to the squad as a substitute for Joe Garner after three months out with a shin injury which had required surgery.

This was a game which the Lilywhites started strongly, having much more spark about them than in previous weeks.

Kevin Davies was inches away from putting them in front when his half-volley from the edge of the box hit the inside of one post before rolling along the line and out beyond the other.

Their dominance was such that United’s opener in the 38th minute came very much against the run of play.

The ball was played from right to left across the pitch, with Jamie Murphy getting possession just outside the North End box.

He cut inside on to his right foot and struck a shot which stayed low and went under the dive of Thorsten Stuckmann, who perhaps should have done better.

In the second half, home keeper Mark Howard made a fine double save from Scott Laird and Chris Humphrey.

North End were very much on the front foot by now and three goals in 10 minutes turned the game completely on its head.

Humphrey was fouled by Bob Harris a yard outside the box, giving PNE a free-kick in the 63rd minute.

Gallagher and Josh Brownhill stood over the ball, midfielder Brownhill having scored here in a league game the month before.

But it was Gallagher who took it, curling the free-kick right-footed over Howard 
into the far top corner.

Six minutes later, North End had turned the game in their favour with a second.

Laird drilled over a corner from the right to the near post where Huntington jumped to flick a header into the net.

The place in the next round was booked with 73 minutes on the clock.

Gallagher knocked a pass down the right wing which Harris tried to head clear but succeeded only in diverting the ball in-field.

Humphrey was on to it like a shot, moving into the box where he was tripped by Jay McEveley’s challenge.

Referee Lee Probert had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot.

Gallagher did his now trademark routine of placing the ball on the spot and then turning his back on it.

He walked a few paces to the edge of the box, then spun round and ran up, hitting the penalty low to the keeper’s right.

North End saw the game out in relative comfort, with Garner replacing Davies for the last couple of minutes to cap a fine evening deep in White Rose territory.