Since the 1960’s there haven’t been too many memorable matches between the two sides at Deepdale, however, back in the middle of that decade the Lilywhites served up a Valentine’s Day feast in front of over 31,500 fans.
It was an FA Cup fourth round replay, with a tie against top-flight Spurs awaiting the winners and they put on quite a show for the fans, with North End showing the resilience to come out on top in a five-goal thriller.
As both sides sought to gain the upper hand, the early exchanges were fairly physical, with a number of free kicks being awarded to North End and the Trotters. Yet neither keeper had been called into action until the 12th minute, when the visitors’ England international No.1 Eddie Hopkinson was picking the ball out of the net.
Brian Godfrey’s inch-perfect pass found Ernie Hannigan and he outpaced Farrimond before crossing for Alex Dawson, the Black Prince outjumping Napier to head past Hopkinson.
Dawson had an outstanding game, a constant thorn in the Wanderers’ defence. He almost netted his and North End’s second just before the half hour mark, but his well-hit shot from the edge of the area was well-saved by the Three Lions’ stopper in the Bolton goal.
The visitors gradually got themselves back into the game and Francis Lee should have levelled the score on 36 minutes, but shot straight at Barton, between the sticks for PNE. But he made amends two minutes later when Gordon Taylor’s corner was headed across the face of goal by Hatton and Lee, completely unmarked in front of goal, made it 1-1.
Wanderers; tough-tackling full back Roy Hartle was cautioned for a challenge on Alan Spavin before the break, the North End talisman having to leave the field of play for treatment and not returning until the second half.
And as well as losing a key man for a time, North End also went behind two minutes after the re-start. Wyn Davies was the goalscorer, his cross-shot initially parried by Barton, but only back into the path of the Welsh international, who shot into the open goal.
But it took only three minutes for the Lilywhites to draw level and it came from the penalty spot. Davies was adjudged to have handled Jimmy Smith’s free kick, despite Hopkinson having the effort covered, and Godfrey stepped up driving the ball into the top right-hand corner, giving the goalkeeper no chance.
And it became a tale of two spot-kicks mid-way through the second period as Ernie Hannigan drove into the box, avoiding lunging tackle from Farrimond, only to be upended by Hartle as he shaped to shoot. Godfrey again stepped up and this time his a high-rising effort into the roof of the net, with Hopkinson getting nowhere near it yet again.
The visitors tried hard to get back on level terms during the closing stages, but found Barton equal to anything their forwards had to offer.
PNE line-up: Barton, Ross, Smith, Lawton, Singleton, Kendall, Hannigan, Godfrey, Dawson, Spavin, Wilson.
Bolton Wanderers line-up: Hopkinson, Hartle, Farrimond, Rimmer, Napier, Hatton, Lee, Bromley, Davies, Hill, Taylor.