Blues fans are continually told we have no history, but history isn’t defined by the number of trophies won – that’s a judgement on how successful a team is. Our history has seen us bounce between divisions until we achieved stability in 2008. So let’s take a look at our history from twenty years ago in the third tier of English football.
12th October 1998 saw the blues face Preston North End at Maine Road. Out of 11 games played, City had won just four and drawn six, but losing just the once. The last home game saw City draw 2-2 with Burnley, Danny Allsopp equalising in the last five minutes to rescue a point to leave the team in 9th positon in the league.
By comparison, Preston had won six of their first eleven games and were the division’s top scorers with 22 goals. A win for the blues would have seen them move into third in the league, replacing their north west rivals, but sadly it wasn’t to be.
As early as the ninth minute, Preston were threatening the City goal, despite the blues having the bulk of the possession. City had to wait until the 30th minute for their first sniff at goal, and it was Gerard Wiekens who volleyed Kevin Horlock’s corner against the bar. Preston should have taken the lead two minutes later, but for Nicky Weaver diverting a goal-bound shot with his foot.
City toiled but without any end product, and when a goal came, it was inevitable it would go to the visitors. Future blue Jon Macken was upended by Danny Tiatto in the box and the referee immediately pointed to the spot. Gary Parkinson made no mistake, hammering the penalty into the roof of the net to secure the points for Preston and end City’s unbeaten home run.
Manchester City Team that faced Preston: Weaver; Fenton, Wiekens, Vaughan; Edghill, Brown, Jim Whitley, Horlock (Tiatto, 65); Dickov (Allsopp, 65), Goater, Bradbury. Substitute not used: Crooks.