Memory match: Sunderland v PNE

David Nugent celebrates with Chris Sedgwick after scoring for PNE at Sunderland in December 2006David Nugent celebrates with Chris Sedgwick after scoring for PNE at Sunderland in December 2006
David Nugent celebrates with Chris Sedgwick after scoring for PNE at Sunderland in December 2006
Preston North End's last visit to the Stadium of Light came more than 11 years ago and proved to be a winning one.

David Nugent’s goal in the 36th minute delivered them a 1-0 victory over Sunderland on December 30, 2006.

It was their first win on Wearside since March 1948, a period spanning 22 visits.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

That victory had come at Roker Park, Sunderland’s home until 1997.

Nugent getting his name on the scoresheet for the eighth time of the 2006/07 campaign inevitably led to speculation about his future with the transfer window opening less than 48 hours later.

Roy Keane, the Black Cats manager at the time, was in no doubt the striker would get attention.

Keane said: “Nugent only needs one chance and he’ll take it. That’s what he did.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Nugent stayed put that January but moved for £6m to Portsmouth in June 2007, Keane having put in a bid to take him to Sunderland only to withdraw from trying to do a deal.

PNE boss Paul Simpson had illness and injuries in the squad to cope with for this trip to the North East.

Simon Whaley (virus) and Paul McKenna (ankle) missed the game.

It meant starts for Callum Davidson and Tommy Miller in midfield.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

North End, wearing their yellow and blue away strip, made the early running in front of a big away following.

Matt Hill had their first chance, the left-back’s shot sailing through into the hands of keeper Darren Ward.

Sunderland began to find their way into proceedings, Graham Alexander blocking a shot from Nyron Nosworthy, while Liam Miller forced a good save from Carlo Nash.

Dwight Yorke and Daryl Murphy also had efforts on the Preston goal.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

At the other end, a corner from PNE midfielder Danny Pugh had too much power on it and evaded everyone in the box.

The contest’s only goal came nine minutes before the interval.

Brett Omerod set it up, sending over a cross which Nugent headed past Ward from close range.

After half-time, a shot from Pugh tested Ward as Preston pushed for a second.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

As Sunderland went in search of parity, winger Ross Wallace saw an effort saved by Nash then soon after put a chance wide.

On the hour mark Nugent came close to a second goal, his shot on target cleared by Nosworthy.

In the latter stages, the hosts piled on the pressure looking for an equaliser.

It never came, although Nash was busy making saves from substitutes Steve Elliott and Chris Brown – they were both to join Preston in the next couple of years.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Victory meant North End went into 2007 second in the Championship table.

That season, they beat Sunderland three times.

In the reverse fixture at Deepdale two months before, PNE had won 4-1 – they were 3-0 up inside 35 minutes.

A week after this league win at the Stadium of Light, the sides met at Deepdale in the third round of the FA Cup.

It was another 1-0 victory for Simpson’s men, this time Ormerod got the winner.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Sunderland went up as champions that season, PNE finishing agonisingly outside the play-offs in seventh.

This Saturday will be North End’s third trip to the Stadium of Light.

In 2004 they drew 3-3 with Eddie Lewis scoring in the 90th minute to level.

The following season, the home side won 3-1.