Bristol City 1 PNE 2
Makienok continued his record in the yellow shirt, making it six goals on the road for the Lilywhites, firing home from Callum Robinson’s left-footed right wing cross midway through the first half.
The home side equalised with a header from home substitute Aaron Wilbraham, but Johnson superbly raced down the right hand side and then fired home from the tightest of angles to give Simon Grayson’s men the win.
The home side started brightly and Chris Maxwell made early smart saves to deny midfielders Lee Tomlin and Gary O’Neil from 20 and 12 yards respectively, but the long the game went on the more comfortable the yellows became.
The opener came after Simon Grayson’s men had had their first spell of concerted pressure, having seemed to switch to a 4-1-4-1 formation and the goal came as Callum Robinson collected a cleared ball on the right hand corner of the box, twisted and turned before delivering a left-footed cross to the back post, where the North End No.9 had ghosted in behind Aden Flint and side-footed past Ivan Lucic into the bottom left hand corner from ten yards out.
After the goal it became wave after wave of North End attacks and they could again have been out of sight by the break.
Firstly former Robin Robinson saw an effort from 25 yards deflected wide and then a minute later Alan Browne fired over – one of two changes to the line-up that started at Nottingham Forest, with Paul Huntington making his first start since Bournemouth in place of Bailey Wright - after a strong run and pass by Robinson down the right.
The hosts did have one good chance to level matters just after the half hour mark, when the ball ricocheted to top scorer Tammy Abraham in the box, but he dragged his shot wide of the left hand post from close range.
But the chances at the other end continued to flow. More super play from the Danish front man, held the ball up on the edge of the box before playing in Browne, who battled past two defenders, only for his shot to be blocked by Joe Bryan for a corner.
From the resulting cross skipper Tom Clarke’s header brilliantly saved on the line by Lucic and then the follow up deflected off Johnson and behind.
Referee Simon Hooper was being kept busy as well and when Marlon Pack two footed Alex Baptiste when the whistle has already gone you expected serious action to be taken, but a card wasn’t even produced from his pocket.
The last and best chance to double the interval advantage came two minutes into stoppage time at the end of the first half and again it was the former City loan man Robinson, who hit the bar as PNE broke with pace and Baptiste crossed for Makienok who headed back across goal and his fellow striker shot against the cross bar and then his rebound effort on the turn was deflected wide.
Two minutes into the second half and Huntington almost made a goalscoring return to the side as his effort at the back post was blocked on the line by striker Abraham, with Lucic beaten.
Abraham fired against the post when he burst through after a header from Simon Makienok had ricocheted kindly to send the striker through with Bobby Reid, but his follow up was well wide of Maxwell’s goal.
With 12 minutes left a Johnson free kick from the left edge of the box found its way through to Makienok and the past post. He controlled well, but drilled into the side netting.
However, the home side were level seconds later when a cross was delivered by on loan full back Adam Matthews deep from the right hand side and substitute Aaron Wilbraham headed up and over Maxwell into the top right hand corner from ten yards out.
But North End were only level for a matter of minutes, as with five minutes left No.11 Johnson showed superb skill and pace to nick the ball in midfield and race into the right hand edge of the box, take his man on the outside and then somehow flicked the ball past Lucic from the byline into the bottom left hand corner.
In the third of four minutes of added time former PNE man Josh Brownhill, who had come on for the last 15 minutes forced a fine scooping save from Maxwell and that was enough to give the Lilywhites their third consecutive win at Ashton Gate.
Bristol City line-up: Lucic, Bryan, Flint, O’Neil (c), Abraham, Tomlin, Reid (Brownhill, 76), Freeman (Paterson, 76), Pack (Wilbraham, 65), Magnusson, Matthews. Subs not used: O’Donnell, O’Dowda, Engvall, Moore.
PNE line-up: Maxwell, Baptiste, Cunningham, Pearson, Clarke (c), Huntington, McGeady (Vermijl, 80), Johnson, Browne, Makienok, Robinson (Hugill, 84). Subs not used: Lindegaard, Wright, Grimshaw, Spurr, Pringle.
Attendance: 18,619 (579 PNE fans)
Referee: Mr S Hooper
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