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On This Day... 16th April

16 April 2020

We have played 15 home games on the date and only lost once - way back in 1900 to Manchester City.

Notable amongst our wins was a 4-1 triumph over Blackpool in 1960, when over 26,000 turned out to see Tom Finney face our local rivals for the last time, he retired a few weeks later.

Sadly, his great friend Stanley Matthews was not in the Blackpool team that day, but Tom was one of our four scorers.

We have won two of those home games in the last 20 years. The most recent was in April 2011, sadly not enough to keep us up that year, but we despatched Sheffield United 3-1 in PR1.

That day, Sheffield United's hopes of staying in the Championship were left hanging by a thread after a defeat at Deepdale.

Keith Treacy opened the scoring after the break with a 30-yard effort and doubled PNE's lead with a strike into the top corner from 18 yards.

Jordan Slew hit back for the Blades with a shot from the edge of the box and Darius Henderson hit the post for the Blades before Nathan Ellington's strike sealed the home side’s win to leave the away team eight points from safety.

Phil Brown's Lilywhites had won their last three home fixtures and were in reasonable overall form as they looked forward to the remainder of the campaign and they had a good chance in the opening minutes, but striker Chris Brown could not keep his header on target from Treacy's cross.

Treacy, who had a spell on loan at Bramall Lane the previous season, then narrowly missed from 18 yards, while Iain Hume also went close.

The Blades bounced back and both Harry Maguire and Stephen Quinn went close for the visiting side, while Ian Turner denied Slew with a low shot, but PNE responded and although Brown should have done better from 12 yards, Treacy did eventually put the home side ahead, setting them on their way to a crucial three points.

The second of the home wins on this date came 15 years ago, when a man back at Deepdale, scored twice, including an absolute stunner from the edge of the penalty area.

It was David Nugent's double kept PNE’s Play-Off momentum going while dropping Cardiff City back into relegation danger.

The Bluebirds defended well, but were finally breached in the 67th minute, when Richard Cresswell's cross was only half-cleared to Nugent.

The 19-year-old lashed his shot into the top corner and, soon after, rushed onto another Cresswell cross to guide the ball inside the right post, before Cresswell rounded things off by robbing Chris Barker and cooly slotting home.

After the game, then manager Billy Davies said: “Cardiff had a lot of energy and they made it difficult for us in the first half. The most important thing is we stuck at it and we started to play our own game in the second half, creating chances and we increased the tempo a little bit.

“I felt we would get chances and, with the players we've got in our team, we're always capable of scoring goals.”

We also had a big away win on 16th April 2001 as North End cruised to victory against Barnsley at Oakwell to stay firmly on course for the Play-Offs.

Barnsley made the brighter start with Alex Neil (yes, that Alex Neil!) and Carl Barrowclough testing Lilywhites ’keeper David Lucas.

Darren Barnard then fired in a free-kick which just cleared the bar, but PNE opened the scoring on 14 minutes. The corner from the right was flicked on at the near post and Jon Macken stabbed the ball home after Ryan Kidd saw his effort blocked by keeper Kevin Miller.

Barnsley tried to get back on level terms with Barrowclough seeing his shot saved and Chris Morgan having a header cleared off the line. Debutant striker Rory Fallon also had a header well saved by Lucas who tipped the ball over.

Iain Anderson increased the visitors’ lead in the 38th minute. Macken's low cross from the right evaded everyone and Anderson, arriving at the far post, hammered the ball past Miller.

Neil Shipperley almost pulled a goal back for the home side straight afterwards. But his long-range effort was kept out by Lucas, however, PNE went further ahead on 57 minutes with a goal from Paul McKenna.

Macken flicked on to McKenna who was in space on the right-hand side of the area and he fired into the bottom right hand corner of Miller's net.

In a rare Barnsley attack, Sean Gregan threatened to score an own goal. The defender diverted the ball goalwards, but Lucas was alert to the danger and made a save.

Substitute Richard Cresswell completed the scoring in the 70th minute. Graham Alexander put over a free-kick from the right which was met by a firm header from Cresswell, Miller only helping the ball into the net.

North End were seemingly content to sit on their lead and soak up any pressure from the home side. Barnsley boss Nigel Spackman sent on substitute Mike Sheron and Leo Bertos but the pair failed to pep up the attack. Substitute Anthony Kay had a couple of efforts, putting a shot wide and seeing Lucas make a save.

Onto other milestones and local lad Jamie Squires made his PNE debut today in 1994 and although he did not play many games for the club over the next three years, one of his earliest appearances lives on in fans' memories.

Only 18 when chosen to start at left back against Walsall, he was in the team for the last four games of the regular season, but missed both Play-Off games with Torquay.

He was then controversially chosen ahead of second leg goalscorer and experienced defender Stuart Hicks to play in the Final. Hicks was doing a pre-match interview on the Wembley turf, so late was manager John Beck's decision to play Squires.

To say the youngster then had a nightmare game would be an understatement, as he was involved in each of Wycombe's four goals. He left for Dunfermline three years later, having only made 39 appearances for North End and he later played a few games for Carlisle.


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