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First Team News

On This Day… 26th April

26 April 2020

Two wins to look back on in the last two decades, a break for the war and the first goal of a future PNE hero all came on the 26th April down the years.

Back in 2014, what was then Simon Grayson’s Preston North End, maintained their good form with a win over Gillingham in League One.
 
The hosts took an early lead when John Welsh's shot found the top corner after Stuart Beavon's lay-off, but the Gills drew level on the stroke of half-time after Jack King miscued a headed clearance and Leon Legge fed Cody McDonald who fired home.
 
However, Paul Gallagher regained the lead with a shot from the edge of the area before Neil Kilkenny sealed the win from close range with his first touch.
Going back 11 years before that, Craig Brown’s Lilywhites saw Pawel Abbott's goal ensure they completed their home fixtures with a victory at Deepdale.
Polish striker Abbott scored after 13 minutes, but the home team had central defender Chris Lucketti to thank for keeping Bradford out in the second half.
 
Abbott's goal came after Richard Cresswell's shot was parried by Aidan Davison. The young striker was quickest to react and converted from short range.
 
Cresswell had a penalty claim turned down as PNE’s dominance continued, although Bradford hinted at their attacking threat when Andy Myers flashed a shot past Jonathan Gould's left upright.
 
The impressive Cresswell continued to pose the greatest danger and was inches away from registering one of the goals of the season with a dipping volley from Paul McKenna's cross.
 
It then needed a marvellously-timed tackle by Tyrone Mears to deny Andy Gray an equaliser, while North End defender Graham Alexander forced a great save from Davison with a stunning shot.
 
Bradford's improved second half performance featured efforts from Laurens Ten Heuvel, Mark Bower and David Wetherall, but PNE, despite the occasional lapse on concentration, held on for an 11th home win of the season.
What was to prove to be our last win for seven years happened on this date in 1939 as we overcame Bolton Wanderers 2-0 at Burnden Park.
We drew with Chelsea the following week then lost at Charlton before football was suspended later in the year following the outbreak of the Second World War.
 
Three games of the 1939/40 season were played, but these were subsequently wiped from the records so our next official win was not until Tom Finney made his debut in 1946 and we beat Leeds 3-2 at Deepdale.
 
Sean Gregan scored his first goal since joining the club in a 2-0 win at Shrewsbury Town’s Gay Meadow in 1997.
 
In what was the penultimate game of the season, Sean had clearly decided he was going to score and he peppered Paul Edwards in the Shrews goal with a series of long-range efforts.
 
He finally got his wish in the 67th minute when a 25-yard strike flew into the net and Sean went off on a gallop round the pitch to celebrate.

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