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On This Day… 6th April

6 April 2020

Today, we have a current North Ender celebrating a big birthday and we look back to the beginning of this millennium to when Gareth Ainsworth gave his usual all!

It was 2002 when the current Wycombe Wanderers manager was on the scoresheet and more memorably covered in blood after a head injury suffered in the game.

That afternoon North End beat Coventry City 4-0 at Deepdale in a match that was notable for two reasons. Firstly, Ainsworth scored one of the goals during his third spell as a PNE player, having joined on loan from Wimbledon a few days earlier.

As if Gareth wasn't already a popular figure, he scored whilst having a blood-soaked bandage wrapped around a cut head.

The second incident involved Sky Blues player/manager Roland Nilsson who became involved in a row with his own player after one goal and was then confronted on the pitch by a visiting fan after Gareth's goal. Not surprisingly, he left his job at the end of the season.

Kelham O'Hanlon was in charge of the Lilywhites, as this came after David Moyes' departure and PNE hammered the Sky Blues to boost their hopes of securing a Play-Off place.

The aforementioned Nilsson named himself in the starting line-up for the first time since September in a bid to bring some experience and stability to the Sky Blues defence, but PNE took the game by the scruff of the neck and it took four minutes for them to take the lead when a corner from Rob Edwards fell to Clyde Wijnhard who headed home.

The Sky Blues went two down after 27 minutes when a third Edwards' corner in quick succession found the head of Dickson Etuhu. PNE continued in the same vein in the second half and they should have increased their lead through Etuhu shortly after the restart.

The visitors responded with a weak shot from Nilsson while Bothroyd's left-footed effort went wide.

The points were already staying in Preston, but the Lilywhites were not about to sit back and four minutes from time Gareth Ainsworth killed off the game when he added the third.

A minute later Richard Cresswell latched onto a pass from Wijnhard to make it 4-0; the win moving O'Hanlon's men above Coventry in the first division table.

Today is also a happy 21st birthday to Tom Bayliss as he recovers from injury.

Born in Leicester, Tom joined us from Coventry last summer and was gradually adjusting to life at a Championship club before an ankle injury stalled his progress. All at Deepdale are looking forward to welcoming him back to first team action as soon as possible.

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