We make only our second visit to face Wycombe Wanderers in the FA Cup, having come out 1-0 winners on our previous visit in December 2013.
Kevin Davies was our goalscorer that day, following our 6-0 victory over Barnet in the previous round, and we went on to face both Ipswich and Nottingham Forest twice before exiting the competition in a fourth round replay.
Today is our 357th match in the world’s most famous knockout competition and the 84th time we have played in the third round, although this has not always been the same stage of the competition.
Overall, this is our 104th game at this stage, with 18 replays and two second replays adding to the number of original ties.
This is the 39th time we have been drawn away in the third round and we have recorded 17 wins and nine draws from those 39 ties. Our biggest wins have been by 4-2 scorelines, at Lincoln in 1927 and Runcorn in 1939, whilst we lost 6-0 to Charlton in 1946, when the third round was played over two legs for the only time, as football returned after the Second World War.
We were drawn away at this stage two years ago and went down 2-0 at Peterborough United’s London Road ground. Two year earlier, we drew 1-1 at Portman Road and were 2-0 down at half-time in the replay. Enter substitute Joe Garner, whose second half hat-trick (the first by a North End sub) clinched the tie.
Last time we won a third round tie away from Deepdale was in 2002 when Eric Skora and Jon Macken saw us home 2-0 at Brighton’s Withdean Stadium home.
There are a couple of notable third round ties from the early days of our history. Our first game at this stage was against Eagley, from the outskirts of Bolton, back in 1893 and we ran out 9-1 winners. Two years later, we beat Bolton Wanderers 3-2 at their Pikes Lane ground, but we were subsequently disqualified after being found guilty of paying our players, which was an offence at the time. This was the second time this had happened to North End and William Sudell became the leading light in challenging the FA on player being paid.
As well as Wycombe manager and honorary North Ender Gareth Ainsworth, several other players count both clubs amongst those they have played for.
Stuart Beavon joined us from the Chairboys in 2012 and scored 12 goals in his 69 appearances before moving to Burton Albion. Paul Hayes left North End for Charlton before joining Wycombe and goalkeeper Iain Turner spent time at Adams Park as one of several loan spells he had whilst at Everton, which of course included his initial time at Deepdale.
Andy Lonergan also spent time on loan in Buckinghamshire whilst establishing himself on North End’s books and John Mousinho had time as a Chairboy earlier in his career. Barry Richardson, who kept goal for North End alongside Ainsworth back in the 1990s, made his Wycombe debut last January – aged 46!
On This Date
Unsurprisingly on the first weekend of the new year, FA Cup ties feature prominently amongst the games we have played on this date in previous years. In 1951, we overcame Leicester City 3-0 at Filbert Street thanks to Ken Horton’s goal and a double from Charlie Wayman.
Eleven years later, we struggled to overcome third division Watford 3-2 at Deepdale. Our only defeat on this date came in 2001 when we lost a third round tie at home to Stockport County before the most recent game seeing us record a 1-0 win over Sunderland at the same stage.
Three former players celebrate their birthdays today. Andy Carroll came on loan from Newcastle United in 2007 and is 29, whilst Stephen Elliott is 34. Another loan player in Bongani Khumalo made six appearances for North End before returning to Spurs and currently plays in South Africa for Bidvest Wits and is celebrating his 30th birthday.
Current Academy U18s coach Andy Fensome played his last game for North End in a 1-0 defeat at Barnet on this date in 1996 before joining Rochdale. Andy followed John Beck from Cambridge in 1993 and made 116 appearances at full back, scoring twice, before returning to the club after his playing career ended. One of Andy’s goal came from the penalty spot, when he scored at Stockport County in a League Cup tie played at Gigg Lane, Bury when Deepdale was unavailable as the plastic pitch was being replaced with grass.
Last Five Games At Adams Park
Wycombe Wanderers 0 Preston North End 1 (Davies), 7th December 2013
Wycombe Wanderers 3 (Ainsworth, Donnelly (pen), Beavon) Preston North End 4 (Mellor, 2; Hume, 2), 27th September 2011
Wycombe Wanderers 1 (Devine) Preston North End 1 (Nogan), 21st August 1999
Wycombe Wanderers 0 Preston North End 1 (Nogan), 8th September 1998
Wycombe Wanderers 0 Preston North End 0, 27th September 1997