Retro game: When PNE triumphed in front of Liverpool's Kop - against Crewe

Liverpool turned their Anfield home into a fortress in the 1976/77 season, with Bob Paisley's side remaining unbeaten in front of the Kop throughout.

Wednesday, 29th November 2017, 10:16 am
Updated Wednesday, 29th November 2017, 11:28 am
PNE striker John Smith challenges in the air against Crewe at Anfield in 1976

But the record books will show that Preston North End recorded a victory at Anfield on November 29, 1976.

The win came against Crewe Alexandra in the FA Cup, the Monday night clash a third attempt to settle this first round tie.

A 1-1 draw at Gresty Road had been followed by a 2-2 draw in the Deepdale replay.

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John Smith is challenged in the box

Hence this second replay at a neutral ground, one which attracted a crowd of 7,334.

After being unable to get the better of Fourth Division Crewe in the first two games, North End got it right this time thanks to goals from David Sadler, Jimmy Brown and Mike Elwiss.

It booked PNE a trip to Halifax in the second round who were managed by their former boss Alan Ball Sr who was an interested spectator in the directors’ box.

Ball put one over on the club who has sacked him three years earlier, Halifax winning 1-0.

PNE on the attack against Crewe

At Anfield, North End did not look back once they had taken a 37th minute lead.

It came after they forced a corner on the right, the flag kick delivered into the box by midfielder Brown.

John Smith helped it on into a crowded goalmouth where centre-half Sadler sent a low shot bobbling into the net.

Crewe responded with a shot from Peter Abbott which sailed over Roy Tunks’ bar.

PNE celebrate Jimmy Brown's goal against Crewe at Anfield

At the other end Elwiss saw a shot saved by Geoff Crudgington, then Elwiss had the ball in the net only to see it ruled out for a foul by Mark Lawrenson on the keeper.

Gordon Coleman shouted for a penalty when his shot hit Paul Bevan on the arm but the referee waved played on.

North End scored their second goal in the early stages of the second half.

Brown’s fine pass found Elwiss on the left.

John Smith is challenged in the box

Elwiss got to the byline and pulled the ball back into the path of Smith.

His shot was on target and got helped over the line by Brown.

Elwiss and Bruce both tested Crudgington who had a good night between the posts for Crewe.

Four minutes from time, Preston sealed the win and a place in the second round.

It was a deserved goal for Elwiss who had worked hard all night up front alongside Alex Bruce.

Coleman was the supply line, putting over a cross from the right which Elwiss jumped to head home.

PNE on the attack against Crewe

That was Elwiss’ 14th goal of the season, it coming in front of several scouts from First Division clubs.

The three games against Crewe earned North End an estimated £7,500 in gate receipts – a tidy sum back then and well received by the Deepdale board.

They got 40% of the gate at Anfield, Crewe getting the same while Liverpool and the FA got 5% each.

North End: Tunks, McMahon, Sadler, Lawrenson, Williams, Coleman, Burns, Brown, Smith, Elwiss, Bruce. Sub (not used): Doyle.

Attendance: 7,334

PNE celebrate Jimmy Brown's goal against Crewe at Anfield