It is the 96th league clash between Preston North End and Nottingham Forest when the two sides face off at Deepdale this Saturday afternoon.
In those previous encounters, North End have the better of the head-to-head record with 40 wins, to Forest’s 28, with the other 27 played so far ending all-square.
The first league meeting here at Deepdale was way back 128 years ago, when they triumphed 1-0 in September 1892. A big early home win was a 6-0 success in 1896
Forest made their first visit to Deepdale since 1934 on December 21st 1957 with their captain for the day Peter Higham, well known in these parts. Tommy Thompson scored the opener midway through the first half.
Forest tried hard, but were undone by a superb goal from winger Derek Mayers in the 89th minute, to give PNE the 2-0 scoreline.
Another big gap came between 1974, when PNE won 2-1 at home in February, before a return of hostilities in 2000. Our first win after we started playing regularly again came on the last day of the 2001/02 season, with Kelham O’Hanlon in charge of the home side – his last game as caretaker manager – and that is our featured game.
Despite the win, PNE’s bid to secure a place in the division one Play-Offs for the second successive season ended in failure despite a hard-fought last-day victory at home to Forest.
North End went into the game knowing victory would allow them to sneak into sixth place in the table - but only if Burnley lost at home to Coventry and Norwich lost at home to Stockport.
Neither result went the Lilywhites’ way, but late goals from Mark Rankine and Richard Cresswell salvaged some pride after Marlon Harewood had fired Forest into a 30th-minute lead.
The home side made the brighter start and Clyde Wijnhard's header from a Paul McKenna cross forced an early save from Darren Ward.
The competitive edge between the sides resulted in bookings for Forest's Jon Olav Hjelde and Preston's Rob Edwards inside the first 15 minutes.
Forest signalled their intent to make a game of it as they pushed forward and Eugen Bopp unleashed a fierce drive from the edge of the penalty area which Tepi Moilanen was forced to tip over the crossbar.
Then the visitors caught the home side on the break when Jack Lester squared the ball for Harewood, who coolly went round Moilanen and slotted home from close range. Forest's leading scorer had a chance to double his side's lead in injury time, but he fired his shot wide of the left-hand post.
O’Hanlon’s men came out with renewed purpose after the interval, but Wijnhard wasted a great chance from another McKenna cross when he headed wide after 62 minutes.
The caretaker boss then made a double substitution 20 minutes into the second half in a last bid to get his side back in the game, bringing Rankine and David Healy on to replace Michael Keane and Wijnhard.
Healy came close to pulling the hosts level within five minutes, but his shot was comfortably caught by Ward.
But it was fellow substitute Rankine who got PNE’s equaliser when he fired in from the centre of the penalty area after good work by Cresswell. And it was the former Leicester striker who ensured that North End's season ended on a winning note when he popped up in the six-yard box to convert Healy's cross.