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Match Report


Posted Tue 20 Jan 15 at 21:30 PM

PNE 1 Yeovil Town 1

Sylvan Ebanks-Blake scored his first goal for the Club, but North End were left frustrated, having to settle for a point after Gozie Ugwu opened the scoring just before the break.

Ugwu gave the visitors the lead on the stroke of half-time, firing home at the back post after a debatable free kick from Sam Foley found its way through the box.

Ebanks-Blake coolly rounded the goalkeeper to level matters up with just under a quarter of hour to go, but despite pressure from the Lilywhites it ended all-square.

Manager Simon Grayson gave Bailey Wright his first league start since his operation in a back three, with Kevin Davies restored upfront alongside Jermaine Beckford.

The Lilywhites started brightly without forcing Steer into a save. On 13 minutes some great build play culminated in a clever lofted ball in by Kevin Davies for Jermaine Beckford, who tried to lob Steer, but lifted the ball just over the bar.

Before the 20 minute mark Chris Humphrey drilled in a ball from the right and Davies managed to get a header under pressure, but it flew just wide of the left hand post.

In the last 15 minutes of the half the Glovers grew in confidence and had a flurry of chances. Firstly Keiffer Moore fired wide from the edge of the box after a long free kick had bounced kindly for the defender.

With nine minutes left in the half Sam Johnstone denied Ugwu, after the big striker collected a long goal kick from Steer and is clean through and then in the final minute of the half the keeper was again needed as Sam Foley shot was well saved by the on loan stopper from the edge of the box.

However, the relief lasted only a few seconds as Scott Laird was very harshly penalised for a supposed foul on the right touchline and the resulting free kick from Sam Foley drifted through the box to the back post to where Gozie Ugwu fired home from six yards out for his second goal in as many games.

Scott Wiseman replaced Bailey Wright at half-time with a change of formation to 4-4-2, Gallagher moving to the left from his more central position in the first half.

The Lilywhites started the second half on the front foot the opening minutes all being played in the final third of the Yeovil half.

Firstly Gallagher put a ball across from the left that Arthurworrey just directed away from Humphrey and they Davies curled a clever ball in from the right that Beckford was inches away from.

Steer then denied Josh Brownhill with a brilliant low save; all this in the first ten minutes of the second half. A brace of Gallagher corners followed, but Steer managed to divert the ball away from the danger area.

Scott Laird caught a lefty foot half volley sweetly just after the hour mark, but Steer got behind his effort well and held on to the well-struck shot.

It was all hands to the pump for Yeovil and PNE dominated possession and territory with corners flowing and balls coming into the box from both sides.

Sylvan Ebaks-Blake and Kyel Reid were both added to the frontline for the final half of the second half as the one-sided pressure continued.

Kevin Davies met a Gallagher corner on 70 minutes that bounced agonisingly wide against a tenacious back line for Yeovil.

The visitors had some rare respite from the pressure with a brace of corners as the game entered the last 15 minutes.

And the goal that had been coming all half finally arrived as Sylvan Ebanks-Blake latched onto a long ball from Sam Johnstone that Kevin Davies flicked on and he calmly rounded the keeper and slotted home from close range with 13 minutes still left.

The goal brought a short lull in the game for five minutes, but it burst back to life in the final five as North End pressed for the winner. Sylvan Ebanks-Blake hit a brilliant overhead after a game of headers around the edge of the box that ended on the roof of the net with everyone thinking it was in.

Only four minutes were added on to the shock of everyone in the ground after the amount of time-wasting that had gone on.

In the final few seconds the Lilywhites had a frtee kick on the right, their last chance to put the ball into the box, but the referee gave a foul on Steer the visitors grabbed a point.

PNE line-up: Johnstone, Laird, Clarke (c), Wright, Humphrey, K Davies, Beckford (Ebanks-Blake, 67), Gallagher, Welsh, Huntington (Wiseman, 46), Brownhill (Reid, 67). Subs not used: Stuckmann, Kilkenny, Reid, King, Browne.

Yeovil Town line-up: Steer, N Smith, Edwards (c), Foley, Moore, Ofori-Twumasi, Loza (Hoskins, 68), Ugwu (Hayter, 54), Arthurworrey, A Smith (Berrett, 86), Shephard. Subs not used: Krysiak, Stewart.

Attendance: 7,491 (73 away fans)

Referee: Mr C Sarginson

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