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First Team News

Memorable Match: Cardiff City

18 March 2020

We were due to be playing Cardiff City this evening in our latest Sky Bet Championship fixture, but due to the ongoing coronavirus struggles this is obviously postponed.

However, it gave us a great opportunity to look back at one of our great recent memories of clashes with the Bluebirds at Deepdale.

And being in a Play-Off fight at the moment, the obvious one to pick out came with City’s visit to Deepdale on April 18th 2009.

It was a gloriously sunny afternoon as Deepdale as PNE secured their best win for eight years, thrashing the Welshmen 6-0.

Neil Mellor scored twice before the break, before Cardiff fell apart in the second half against a rampant North End.

But it was a vital moment on the stroke of half-time that was key to the result and ultimately the one goal difference that led PNE to pip Dave Jones’ side to a space in the top six. Ross McCormack, a dead eye from the spot, saw his 45th minute penalty brilliantly saved by Andrew Lonergan, in front of the Alan Kelly Town End to keep it 2-0 at half-time.

And then, after the interval, Jon Parkin made it 3-0, before then an own goal by Mark Kennedy, and two more from Chris Brown and on loan Lee Williamson completed the rout.

After the game, manager Alan Irvine was pleased, but knew his side still needed snookers in order to achieve their top six ambition: “The Play-Offs are still not in our hands,” he said. “We are waiting to see what happens. We have kept ourselves in with a chance.

“Before the game the gist of my talk to them was that it's now or never, that they had to go out and do the job. But I certainly didn't see this coming. I don't think anyone would have imagined that happening for a moment.

“We went 2-0 up and I felt that was probably a bit harsh on Cardiff. They were probably the better team in the first half and we got our goals pretty much against the run of play.

“The penalty save by Andy Lonergan I felt was a key moment. Also I had made a decision to put our two wide players on opposite wings, to do something a little bit unexpected perhaps that Cardiff would not be prepared for. It worked, but on another day it might not have.

“I am delighted with the way the lads have responded since the Blackpool game a week ago. That was probably the lowest time here that I have certainly felt.”

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