Preston North End entertain Fulham at Deepdale for the 33rd time when they play Scott Parker’s side on Tuesday night.
This is the 65th league match between the teams overall, with the visitors to Deepdale leading the head-to-head with 29 wins to PNE’s 23 and the Cottagers have won their last three trips to PR1 2-1.
North End’s last point at home to Fulham came in 2000, when Michael Jackson’s early goal was equalised by Davis on the hour mark in Jean Tigana’s title-winning season.
Our last home win over them came on 29th November 1997, when the Londoners got off to a great start with Rob Scott’s four minute strike, but after that it was the Lee Ashcroft show, as he scored a hat-trick, equalising in the 11th minute, before putting North End ahead with a penalty on 69 minutes and completing his hat-trick with seven minutes to go.
Our first win over Fulham came in our first ever clash with them at Deepdale in March 1913, a 1-0 success, with our biggest home win coming in Sir Tom Finney’s final month as a PNE player, in April 1960, when the side triumphed 4-1.
However, our look back today to a specific game came in 1995 and was inspired by a future World star and England captain… none other than David Beckham.
North End were in a seven-way fight for the final Play-Off place, under the stewardship of Gary Peters and had lost just two of 15 games since he had taken over from John Beck and a 20-minute purple patch at the start of the second half helped them win again.
A controversial refereeing decision eventually led to a nail-biter of an ending - where have we heard that before - but despite Kevin Lynch's inability to award the Lilywhites two blatant penalties and send off Terry Agus for punching Mike Conroy in the face - from which he actually eventually gave the Cottagers a spot kick, North End were already 3-1 up and had Andy Fensome's pile-driver not have come back off the post, they would have been out of sight.
But it was North End's 11th game of 1995, nine against teams in the top half - followed next by the hosting of Bury, which inspired by the aforementioned Beckham they went on to win 5-0 - but despite this visually tough looking game, they had only lost once, to Torquay and this victory was the latest example of how well they have stood up against the best.
This wasn't the best performance and nowhere near the levels of the Bury game to come, but nonetheless it was another excellent win. It began with Kevin Magee being denied a spot kick ten minutes in when Duncan Jupp felled him in the box, however, 13 minutes later the Scottish winger was rewarded when Ian Bryson won the ball in midfield and set off down the left before playing the ball on to his fellow Scot, whose low cross was swept into the far corner by Mike Conroy.
Jim Stannard in the visitors' goal was in excellent form to deny Paul Raynor and Simon Davey and in stoppage time in the first half they drew level when Mr Lynch adjudged David Moyes had fouled Nick Cusack and Terry Hurlock teed up Jupp with a cross to hammer right-footed into the corner.
But three minutes after the break Deepdale saw its side back in front as Beckham controlled a bouncing ball with forehead then thigh before hooking it over his shoulder for Conroy, who played a lovely ball through to Raynor, who picked his spot past the advancing Stannard.
And 90 seconds later it was three and this time the future Manchester United and England star was the scorer. Raynor was pulled down ten yards outside the penalty and what was to become a familiar site over the next 15 or so years saw the loanee curl the ball up and over the four-man Cottagers wall and into the corner off the post.
It could so easily have been four when Beckham fed Fensome, who, as previously mentioned, hit the post and saw the ball come back out to the London side's keeper, but it was Fulham who got the fifth goal of the game, Blake converting from the spot from the controversially awarded penalty, but Peters' side held on and took the win.