PNE 1 Burton Albion 1
It was no surprise when Jackson Irvine opened the scoring mid-way through a half where the visiting side had started much the brighter of the two teams, but with almost the last touch of the first half Callum Robinson poked home after the Lilywhites’ best spell of the game to that point.
But despite second half pressure from the Lilywhites they were unable to force a winner.
The visitors started brightly and could have been two ahead in the opening few minutes. Firstly centre half Ben Turner headed against the cross bar from a left wing corner by Matt Palmer and then Chris Maxwell made an outstanding point-blank save to save from a Marnick Vermijl deflection after Irvine’s initial shot came after a Lloyd Dyer pull back – these chances coming before the fifth minute.
And it was no surprise therefore when Irvine fired home from 12 yards out after another corner from the right by Palmer wasn’t cleared by the Lilywhites on 23 minutes
And the lead could have been doubles when Lloyd Dyer broke into the box on the left, unmarked only to fire into the side-netting from eight yards out.
As the half went on the Lilywhites finally started to get a foot in the game and with four minutes of the half left Robinson drove at the back four, got a shot off that McLaughlin tipped away for a corner.
Seconds later another huge chance came as Johnson broke down the right, fed the ball into McGeady and then onto Robinson, but he was denied by a brilliant one-on-one save from McLaughlin to concede a corner.
Finally they were level in the last ten seconds of the two minutes added on by referee Darren Bond. The ball was worked from right to left and Aiden McGeady played it wide to Greg Cunningham on the left hand edge of the box, and the Irishman drilled the ball in and Callum Robinson poked home from close range.
The second half started much more brightly for the home side and Alex Baptiste won a corner by forcing a smart save from the Brewers’ keeper and then from the resulting second ball back in from the cross Robinson flicked a header from Bailey Wright’s ball just wide of the right hand upright.
Tom Clarke also went close as he powered Daniel Johnson’s corner onto the roof of the net from 15 yards out with a header as Simon Grayson’s men pressed forward with more urgency, however, the visitors held their lines and North End were unable to get a winner.
PNE line-up: Maxwell, Baptiste, Cunningham, Pearson, Clarke (c), Wright, Vermijl (Makienok, 69), Johnson, Robinson, Hugill (Doyle, 85), McGeady. Subs not used: Lindegaard, Browne, Spurr, Pringle, Huntington.
Burton Albion line-up: McLaughlin, Brayford, Mousinho (c), Turner, O’Grady (Harness, 80), Akins, Dyer, McCrory, Naylor, Palmer, Irvine. Subs not used: Bywater, Flanagan, Williamson, Miller, Choudhury, Barker.
Attendance: 10,696 (445 Burton Albion fans)
Referee: Mr D Bond