LUFC Memory Match: Healy the hero with late winner
March 30th 2007 Attendance: 18,433
Leeds United 2-1 Preston North End
Referee: Andre Marriner (West Midlands)
We take a look back to the last time the two sides met just over three years ago for our memory match between the two sides.
The season before, these two sides had met in the Play off semi finals with Leeds coming out on top over two legs but when the two sides met at the end of March 2007 in front of the live Sky TV cameras it was under totally different circumstance.
Leeds went into the game rooted to the bottom of the Championship whilst a win for Preston would move them into the automatic promotion places with just seven games remaining.
The whites had shown signs of improvement in recent weeks. Under manager Dennis Wise and his assistant Gus Poyet, they went into the game unbeaten in their previous three games.
Preston had a great chance to open the scoring in the opening few minutes when David Nugent, who had won his first cap for England earlier in the week, sliced his shot wide of the target.
It was not long before Preston were in front when two former Leeds players combined to give them the lead. Brett Ormerod was played in by another Danny Pugh and he drilled his shot past Ankergren.
Lubomir Michalik was on loan at Elland Road from Preston`s near neighbours Bolton Wanderers and he came close to levelling the match when his long-range effort just went wide of the post.
Robbie Blake was next to go close for Leeds but his turn and shot also went agonisingly wide for the Elland Road faithful.
Ormerod almost made it two but Ankergren was quick off his line to block the strikers shot after he beat the offside trap.
David Healy had enjoyed a tremendous week on international duty with Northern Ireland, scoring five times in two games and he was next to go close when his shot just cleared the bar.
With the half time whistle looming, defender Matt Heath hit the post for Leeds after a scramble in the area.
It didn`t take long for Leeds to get back on level terms at the start of the second half.
Richard Cresswell did well on the left and his low cross found Robbie Blake at the far post who steered his shot into the back of the net.
Nugent then wasted a fantastic chance to put Preston back into the lead when he found himself one on one with Ankergren but the big Danish keeper who was on loan from Bronby did enough to deny him.
Another former Leeds man then let the home side off the hook, Michael Ricketts who couldn`t hit a barn door from two yards whilst he was in Leeds colours proved that he was no better in a Preston shirt, when he somehow managed to blaze over the bar from six yards out when the goal was at his mercy.
Leeds claimed all three points with just thirty seconds left of normal time, Robbie Blake`s cross field ball found Eddie Lewis and his deep ball was attacked at the far post by David Healy and gave Lonergan in the Preston goal no chance.
The goal marked huge celebrations as the entire Leeds playing and coaching staff merged to celebrate the goal and a crucial three points towards Leeds safety.
The win lifter Leeds into 23rd place and despite winning two of their next three games they never managed to get out of the bottom three. They were eventually relegated in their penultimate game of the season when they could only draw with Ipswich Town at home.
After that game, Chairman Ken Bates decided to put Leeds United into administration and take a ten-point penalty in this season rather than the following season, but we all know what the Football League eventually did to us.
The defeat seemed to knock the stuffing out of Preston`s promotion push. After looking a good bet for automatic promotion before the game, they picked up just two wins from their final seven games and finished one place outside the play off places.
Leeds Ankergren, Richardson, Heath, Michalik, Gray, Douglas, Kishishev, Lewis, Blake (Rui Marques 90), Cresswell, Healy (Elliott 90)
Subs Not Used: Stack, Johnson, Moore.
Goals: Blake 51, Healy 90.
Preston Lonergan, Wilson, St. Ledger, Chilvers, Pergl, Songo'o (Ricketts 60), Pugh, Sedgwick, Davidson (Agyemang 46), Nugent, Ormerod
Subs Not Used: Nowland, Henderson, Soley.
Goal: Ormerod 5.
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