Our last league win at the Baseball Ground was a bittersweet one for the Lilywhites, on the final day of the 1980/81 season.
Nobby Stiles’ men recorded a 2-1 win against Derby County on 4th May 1981, but that was not enough to prevent their relegation to the third division.
It was a brave display by the Lilywhites, who showed commendable fighting spirit, although nerves were evident as they came under early pressure, with the host Rams earning plenty of corners.
But under the prompting of Sean Haslegrave and top scorer, Alex Bruce they cause Derby a few moments of unease, although the best moments actually came from the defenders.
Mick Baxter had a powerful header blocked by Spooner, while Taylor and Anderson, the full backs, saw shots from just outside the penalty area flash wide.
Spooner, making his home debut for the Rams, came closest for them before the break when his 20-yard show was deflected wide of Roy Tunks’ goal off Haslegrave.
PNE went in front with 18 minutes left through Bruce, when Gordon Coleman’s right wing cross was headed home, but Swindlehurst equalised ten minutes later for Derby.
However, Bruce restored the lead and gave the Lilywhites the points in stoppage time after goalkeeper Jones mishandled Taylor’s cross and the North End striker fired home.
But news came from elsewhere that Cardiff had got the draw they needed which send PNE down on inferior goal difference.
After the game Nobby Stiles said: “I had the adulation when we were promoted after my first season as manager, and now I have to accept the criticism. But I’m still learning the job.
“I do not know what the board will decide about me, but I have had terrific backing all season, and chairman Alan Jones was the first man to congratulate the lads for their efforts in the dressing room after the match.”
Derby County line-up: Jones, Osgood, Buckley, Sheridan, McFarland, Spooner, Reid, Hector, Wilson, Swindlehurst, Emson.
PNE line-up: Tunks, Taylor, Henderson, Bell, Baxter, Blackley, Coleman, Haslegrave, Bruce, Houston (O’Riordan), Elliot.
Guy Clarke will be in the commentary box at Price Park on Boxing Day with full coverage of the game for iFollow PNE – match passes are available now for £10 – click here now to purchase yours.