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First Team News

On This Day… 10th May

10 May 2020

Two recent Play-Off campaigns have had fixtures on this day down the years, with memorable goals in each of them!

North End and Rotherham United were to go into the second leg of their League One Play-Off semi-final on level terms after a fiercely-contested draw at Deepdale.
Alex Revell put Rotherham in front, carrying the ball from the half-way line to slide the ball underneath goalkeeper Declan Rudd, but North End's top scorer Joe Garner equalised with a terrific 25-yard volley early in the second half.
Garner's spectacular strike was his 24th goal of the season and his first in five games. The Millers went in front through striker Revell, who turned his marker 50 yards from goal and enjoyed a free run into the penalty area before finishing coolly from close range.
North End had scored 14 goals in their final three home games of the campaign, but failed to create any meaningful opportunities until Garner's superb strike, his 24th of a prolific season for the Lilywhites, shortly after half-time.
Rotherham, who were without their 25-goal top scorer Kieran Agard, almost restored their lead when Lee Frecklington was put through by Wes Thomas, but Rudd bravely denied him.
Fellow midfielder Rob Milsom also went close for the visitors, firing wide from 18 yards. Both sides threatened late on, with Rudd forced into an excellent reflex save to keep out Haris Vuckic's header in stoppage time leaving the match level heading into Thursday's reverse fixture.
Simon Grayson said after the game: “We always knew it was going to be a tough tie and a very tight affair. I thought they were better than us in the first half. We didn't pass the ball well enough and like we can do.
“I'm delighted that we're still in the tie. It's game on and there's plenty to play for.
“The way he controlled it, flicked it over the lad and then hit it first time - the keeper didn't have a chance. It was worthy of winning any game, never mind getting us back in the tie.”
Then a year later another great goal secured a trip to Wembley…
Jermaine Beckford scored from the halfway line to help Preston North End beat Chesterfield and book their spot in the League One Play-Off final.
Leading 1-0 from the first leg, Beckford fired the Lilywhites ahead at Deepdale after Joe Garner's flick on. A second half penalty from Garner and a stunning long-range finish from Beckford secured their spot at Wembley.
The second leg mirrored the tight affair of the first, with the tension obvious between the two teams in the niggling challenges throughout.
The visitors started brightly, dominating possession, and Clucas fired just wide in the opening minute after John Welsh's slip. It took until the midway point of the first half for PNE to test on-loan debutant goalkeeper Joe Murphy, when Paul Gallagher's long-range curler was easily gathered.
After North End keeper Sam Johnstone brilliantly saved from Clucas, 140 seconds later, Beckford, scorer in the first leg, broke the deadlock with a smart finish as he rolled the defender.
The hosts saw little of the ball just after the break, but earned themselves a penalty when Chesterfield keeper Murphy inexplicably brought down midfielder Daniel Johnson on the edge of the area - and Garner powered home from the spot, his goal 27th of the season.
On-loan Bolton striker Beckford sealed a 4-0 aggregate win when he spotted Murphy off his line and drilled the ball over him from long range.
Speaking about his second goal, Beckford said: “I had a word with Joe Garner five minutes prior to that and he said 'the keeper comes off his line quite far, so if you get half a chance have a look and hit it as hard as you can.'
“Fortunately for me it flew in and the rest is history. The most important thing now is we apply ourselves right in a couple of weeks' time. In the next couple of days we'll let our hair down as it's been a long, stressful season - obviously with what happened last weekend - and we'll be ready to work in a couple of days' time.”

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