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Memorable Match: Preston North End 2-4 Norwich City

30 March 2021

As Norwich City travel to the Deepdale Stadium to face Preston North End on Friday (3pm KO), we’re taking a look back on a recent memorable fixture between the sides.

One City youngster burst onto the scene with his hat-trick in this FA Cup third round tie in an impressive 4-2 win back in 2020.

Preston North End 2-4 Norwich City
January 4, 2020
FA Cup
Deepdale Stadium

What was on the line?

To put it simply, progression into the fourth round! This cup tie was a welcome break for both sides from their league campaigns in the Premier League and Championship, with both keen to move on to the next round.

City were struggling to find their form in the Premier League as they sat 20th behind Watford and Bournemouth, while Preston hadn’t seen a win in five games, giving both teams more than enough motivation to fight for this win.

How did the game unfold?

The game didn’t take long to come alive for City as they found the back of the net just two minutes in.

In just over ten seconds, the Canaries worked the ball up from Michael McGovern through to Marco Stiepermann, whose perfectly weighted pass found Adam Idah in front of the Preston box. The Irishman made no mistake in his finish, slipping it past Connor Ripley for the opener.

Stiepermann and Idah almost linked up again in the 28th minute after the former set the striker up one-on-one with Ripley, but the ‘keeper's save denied Idah’s second.

Although, it wouldn’t stay out for long when Onel Hernandez brought the ball back into the box and finished with his shot slipping under Ripley.

Idah wouldn’t have to wait long for his second, however, when the forward’s precise strike found the back of the net after Ripley had left his box to clear Hernandez’s effort.

Preston would then pull one back just after half time through Billy Bodin from a corner after his bullet header shot past McGovern for 3-1.

Regardless, City were still going through as it stood, especially after a special strike from Idah just 13 minutes later.

Fouled inside the Preston box by Ripley, the referee wasted no time in pointing to the spot for a City penalty. Todd Cantwell held the ball in his hands but handed over to Idah, the forward calmly dispatching his effort into the bottom corner to take home his first senior match ball.

Grabbing their second of the afternoon, Preston then went on to find another consolation goal through Josh Harrop as a result of his close-range effort nestling past McGovern in the 84th minute.

What happened next?

For City, the FA Cup run would become a historic one as they then went on to beat Burnley at Turf Moor and visit the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to take on Spurs. In this unforgettable night, the Canaries progressed through to the quarter-finals after their win in the penalty shootout.

For Preston, their FA Cup run came to an end as they bowed out of the competition after this loss to the Canaries, going back to focusing on the Championship where they still compete to this day.

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