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First Team News

On This Day… 7th May

7 May 2020

On this date five years ago we started what would be our tenth and first successful Play-Off campaign with a first leg win over Chesterfield at the Proact Stadium.

Jermaine Beckford's early goal put North End in control of their League One semi-final with the Spireites.
 
PNE made the perfect start as Beckford received Chris Humphrey's pass and lobbed over goalkeeper Tommy Lee.
 
The major talking point came just moments after half-time, when Spireites midfielder Jimmy Ryan appeared to elbow Paul Gallagher in the face, but both players were shown yellow cards.
 
The clash came after a first half full of tension in which there was another heated exchange between both sets of players and a further fracas in the tunnel at half-time. The game had hardly settled down from the pre-match excitement when the visitors found themselves a goal in front through Bolton loanee Beckford.
 
Chris Humphrey played what seemed an innocuous pass through to the striker, but the Chesterfield defence left him unmarked as he calmly slotted the ball into the net from 12 yards.
 
The first half flowed from end to end, with League One's top scorer Joe Garner shooting straight at Chesterfield goalkeeper Lee from a tight angle and Dan Gardner forcing a fine save from Sam Johnstone, though there were few clear-cut chances.
 
Chesterfield came out revitalised after the interval and went close through Gary Roberts' fine run and shot and Ollie Banks' skied effort, but the Lilywhites' defence held firm and they claimed only their fourth win in 22 play-off games.
 
Simon Grayson said post-match "There was a bit of criticism flying around at the weekend but we've shown a lot of spirit and character and when we've had to defend we have. We've put bodies on the line, made blocks and done what defenders are supposed to do. As a team, we worked extremely hard to stop the opposition.
"The players should have been given another opportunity. For large parts when we've had a setback this season we've always responded in the right manner and we've done that tonight. We are pleased that we have done well tonight but we aware that we've not done anything yet until Sunday."
Four days prior to that, in the season we headed down to League One, Jamie Proctor scored his first goal for the club in a final day 3-1 win over Watford at Deepdale.
 
Mid-table Watford went ahead after Danny Graham crossed for on-loan striker Andreas Weimann, and the 19-year-old found the bottom corner, but Barry Nicholson equalised for PNE with a long-range strike.
 
After the break Iain Hume's free-kick found the bottom corner and substitute Jamie Proctor sealed North End's tenth league win of the season.
 
PNE fell behind when on-loan Aston Villa striker Weimann fired a low shot past goalkeeper Iain Turner.
 
Watford defender Martin Taylor, who seemed to have recovered from a foot injury to maintain his record of starting in every league game this season, could only last 22 minutes and was replaced by Tommy Hoban.
 
Nicholson levelled with a 30-yard effort that eluded Hornets goalkeeper Scott Loach, with Keith Treacy's left-footed strike hitting a post soon after the restart.
 
Weimann was thwarted by Turner at the start of the second half before Treacy was denied by the woodwork again in the 54th minute, this time hitting the crossbar.
 
Hume put the home side ahead with his 12th goal of the season, driving in a 25-yard set piece. Watford, the league's highest scorers away from home, twice went close to equalising, substitute Matthew Whichelow heading over from close range and Graham foiled from six yards by Turner.
But North End's 11-season stint in the second tier ended on a positive note when Proctor claimed his first professional goal from close range after being set up by Treacy.
Another player to notch his first goal for the club on this date, 17 years prior to Jamie was a man who would go on to play ten years with the club and earn a testimonial, Ryan Kidd, who scored his first PNE goal on 7th May 1994.
 
In that game where Proctor scored, it proved to be Billy Jones’ final game for PNE.
 
We also beat Cardiff City 9-0 at Deepdale on this date in 1966! This is the second highest score in a league match and saw two hat-tricks.

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