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First Team News

On This Day… 27th April

27 April 2020

This time last week we were looking back on a promotion for the Lilywhites and seven days later, a promotion was clinched along with a debut.

The Lilywhites clinched promotion from the third division in 1996 with a 2-0 win at Hartlepool United.
The historical omens were not good for Gary Peters' side as we had never won an away game on this date until that day, but history counted for nothing as goals from Andy Saville and Simon Davey on David Lucas's debut allowed us to see off our rivals and clinch the championship title into the bargain.
The week before they had all but clinched promotion with a 2-0 win at Leyton Orient - only a mathematical twist would have stopped them.
Victory by the same score at Victoria Park was played out in front of 3,000 PNE fans, who were on Teesside to see it, the party afterwards stretching all the way back along the A66 and down the M6.
There was a debut for David Lucas, the young North End keeper deputising for John Vaughan who was ill. For the teenager born a short distance away from Deepdale and who had supported them as a boy, it was a big moment.
The focus was on the other end of pitch though, as North End went looking for three points to bring them the title and hold off Gillingham with who they had gone toe to toe with all season.
PNE took the lead late in the first half. A shot from Steve Wilkinson was blocked and fell into the path of Simon Davey who rifled a shot into the net from the edge of the box.
Victory was wrapped up late in the game as North End scored a second goal. It was Andy Saville who found the net, that rather appropriate. Saville’s goal was his 29th of the season and he got one in the final game to hit the 30 mark.
Saville’s goal here came when a corner from the left was headed out of the box by the Hartlepool defence. It was returned into the middle, a clearing header fell to Saville who fired a shot into the bottom corner. Off he ran to celebrate by pulling his shirt over his head as the PNE fans who filled one side of the ground, danced in delight.
Also on this date, George Bargh played his final game for the club in 1935. George made exactly 150 appearances, scoring 43 goals and later became first team trainer. He is fondly remembered by many former players of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

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