James Collins celebrates his first City goal!

Through the Archives | PNE vs. Cardiff City

Ahead of our match against Preston North End this weekend, we delve in the archives to bring you memorable moments from past City successes.
Peter Thorne celebrates his goal against Bristol City...

In 2003, City’s first season back in the second tier, Peter Thorne was in inspired form heading into the December fixture against North End, with four goals in his previous two games. At Ninian Park, after a goalless first half, Craig Brown’s men went in front through Ricardo Fuller, only for Richard Langley to draw us level.

When David Healy struck with six minutes to go, the Lilywhites thought they had all three points - but up stepped Thorne. He powered a header past the hapless Jonathan Gould to salvage a point, and then went on a run of scoring nine in eight, in what was a prolific season for the striker.

Michael Chopra

Thorne had a good run, but one man who was in a form of a similar vein was Michael Chopra in 2007. Heading into a home game against Preston, the striker had scored vital goals against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Barnsley, and Leeds United.

Therefore, it was no surprise that he was once again instrumental in a City win. A brace against Preston helped Dave Jones’ men to a 4-1 win, their biggest win over the Lancashire side since 1962. Chopra scored nine goals in seven, as he recorded 22 goals in total throughout the season.

Anthony Pilkington

Anthony Pilkington joined Preston’s academy at the start of his career, before starting his professional career with bitter rivals Blackburn Rovers. Throughout his playing days, Pilkington would often come face to face with his former employers, and he had a great day against them for the Bluebirds in 2016.

A penalty right before half time and another spot kick ten minutes from the end had Russell Slade’s team in a comfortable position. Future Bluebird Callum Robinson did pull one back, but it was Pilkington who had the bragging rights that day.


The race for the Play-Offs were white hot in 2020, and the Bluebirds were right in the mix heading into the season’s final furlongs. Preston were themselves were also chasing an elusive top six spot, a place they hadn’t been in since 2015 when they were in League One.

A tense game saw its first goal 20 minutes from time, with Joe Ralls heading home magnificently. Daniel Johnson made it level, but Nathaniel Mendez-Laing finished off a wonderful team goal to put City ahead with little time remaining. Robert Glatzel added a third, as we leapfrogged Preston and into the top six places.

James Collins celebrates his first City goal!

We go back to 2021 to relive our last victory at Deepdale. Despite Sean Maguire putting the hosts ahead after two minutes, the Bluebirds fought back expertly.

One of the stars of this current season, Mark McGuinness, headed in from a free kick to make the game level, before James Collins scored his first goal for the club as the Bluebirds sealed a big win.