Preston North End’s encounter against West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns will be the 102nd clash between the two sides since the Football League began in 1888.
North End have triumphed on 37 occasions, with the Baggies slightly holding the upper hand with 40 victories in total.
PNE have won 13 games at the Hawthorns, the highlights being a 5-0 win in the opening season of the league in 1888/89, and a high-scoring thriller in 1894/95 that ended 5-4 to the Lilywhites.
Our delve into the archives this week sees us arrive in September 1973, North End’s only win at the home of the Baggies since the 1935/36 season.
PNE had suffered an injury blow going into the match, with Alan Kelly having suffered what turned out to be a career-ending shoulder injury in the match previous against Bristol City. He was replaced by John Brown for the West Brom clash.
It was a game played in awful conditions under the floodlights, with the rain pouring throughout, but a number of North End fans braved the weather and were rewarded with a fine display.
New North End manager Bobby Charlton had arrived in the summer, and the England World Cup winner was already implementing a new philosophy at the club in encouraging his players to continue to go forward.
That was evident in the first 25 minutes at the Hawthorns with a display as good as anything they had produced since beating Millwall, Mel Holden opening the scoring, converting a centre from the decisive Alan Lamb.
West Brom had a spell of late pressure at the end of the first half, but confidence was restored for North End in the second half.
Alex Bruce completed the scoring with 15 minutes to play for his second goal of the campaign, after Baggies goalkeeper Peter Latchford was unable to hold onto a fierce Neil Young free kick.
North End held on for a clean sheet and claimed an important 2-0 victory which saw them move up to 11th in the second division table. The win formed part of an eight-game unbeaten streak for Charlton’s side, their best run of the season.
Francis Burns, signed from Manchester United that summer, and Nobby Stiles were both excellent in midfield, winning the ball back repeatedly and starting attacks with penetrating through passes.
Stiles had joined his former United and England compatriot Charlton at Deepdale that summer, meaning the club had two World Cup winners on the books at the time.
The young Holden covered a lot of ground and showed more improvement, being rewarded with the opening goal of the game. Stuart Baxter was strong in the centre of defence, whilst Brown deputised capably for the injured Kelly.
Charlton spoke to the press after the game, concluding: “The lads said it all for me on the field.”
Match report from Mike Payne