With another Lancashire derby between Burnley and Preston coming up shortly, today we feature a televised Friday night clash between the Clarets and North End, with Graham Alexander in their side, on this day fifteen years ago.
Turf Moor fans were still reeling from a five goal mauling at Ewood Park the previous Sunday, nerves were still raw and what better way to exorcise that painful memory than a victory against Burnley’s oldest Football League opponents.
In front of a crowd of over 16,000, including almost 3,000 from Preston, the Clarets were on their way after just three minutes when Ian Moore slid the ball home from close range.
It was his third goal since his £1m transfer from Stockport County in November 2000, and his second against North End.
Preston were still very much in the game and creating chances but an injury to Finland international goalkeeper Tepi Moilanen unsettled them.
The keeper clashed with Clarets’ striker Gareth Taylor, came off worst, and had to leave the field. He was replaced by David Lucas who kept the Clarets out until just before the interval when he saved well from Taylor only for the ball to go straight back to Kevin Ball who scored his first Burnley goal.
The second half was fairly even but the Clarets sealed the victory with a third goal in the last quarter.
On 73 minutes sub John Mullin combined well with Paul Cook down the left and the ball came inside to Glen Little who drove home a sweet left foot shot.
It was a welcome three points and it meant both teams were still in with a shout of the play-offs, although Burnley, even with only one defeat in their last seven matches, just missed out.
Preston also lost just once more and reached the play-off final, but lost to Bolton Wanderers.
Burnley team (442):
Nik Michopoulos, Dean West (Brad Maylett), Steve Davis, Ian Cox, Paul Smith,
Glen Little, Paul Weller, Kevin Ball, Paul Cook,
Ian Moore (John Mullin), Gareth Taylor (Andy Payton).