Scunthorpe United 2 PNE 3
It was the first time a Lilywhites midfielder had grabbed a treble since Steve Harper against Cardiff City back in February 1990 and the first by any PNE player since Jon Parkin's in the famous 6-4 comeback win at Leeds United.
His first came after only 25 seconds, smashing home Jack King’s nod down and it was King who also created the second with a right wing cross and the No.8 completed his hat-trick with a deflected free kick in the 35th minute.
Former PNE loanee Leon Clarke poked home from close range just before the interval and was joined on the scoresheet with 18 minutes to go by another former North Ender in Karl Hawley from 30 yards, but that was a mere consolation as North End took the points back to Lancashire.
It was another blistering start from the Lilywhites as Shane Cansdell-Sherriff delivered a long ball forward to the edge of the ‘D’ to where Jack King rose highest and nodded down for Wroe to hit a blistering shot first time into the bottom left hand corner – the fastest PNE goal for 25 years since Gary Swann scored after 16 seconds back in 1987.
North End were immediately in the ascendency, having made three changes from the defeat against Sheffield United, Simonsen, Huntington and Cansdell-Sherriff in for Stuckmann, Beardsley and the injured Bailey Wright.
The home side were unchanged, including three former North Enders in their starting XI; Paul Reid, Karl Hawley and the aforementioned Leon Clarke.
The opening goal preceded a half largely dominated by North End with Stuart Beavon seeing an effort deflected wide after some brilliant passing build up in the sixth minute.
But it wasn’t all one way as Steve Simonsen was needed to make a fine save from former North End loan man Clarke in the seventh minute as the Iron broke quickly from a North End corner.
King, twice, and Laird all went close to adding to the lead for the Lilywhites inside the first 20 minutes, the last of those chances a brilliant move started by Keith Keane winning a tackle on the edge of his own box before breaking into the opposition half, feeding Monakana on the right, who crossed for King at the back post to volley just over from 15 yards out.
However, in very similar fashion it was 2-0 as Stuart Beavon threaded the ball into a right hand channel for Jack King, who hit a first time cross to the edge of the box where Nicky Wroe hit a sweetly-timed volley into the top left hand corner.
And the midfield-man joined Akpo Sodje at the top of the North End scoring charts with his seventh of the campaign in the 35th minute. The referee, Michael Nayler, did well to award a free kick to North End for a foul on John Welsh 30 yards out, after trying to allow play to continue. The set piece was well-worked with Scott Laird laying it off to Wroe, who spun away to the edge of the box and hit a low shot that took a deflection past Sam Slocombe into the bottom right hand corner.
The restless home fans were given a lift four minutes before the interval as Leon Clarke smashed in from close range after Steve Simonsen had originally made a brilliant full stretch save to deny the front man, but the keeper could do nothing about rebound, with the arrears reduced to two.
The second half took a little longer to get going than the first, with North End's first real opportunity coming from a corner in the 53rd minute, however, a head injury suffered by a home side defender allowed the Iron to escape any further early damage.
The second period was much more of a balanced affair, with both teams sharing possession without threatening the keepers the same way they had before the interval.
However, with 18 minutes left on the clock the home side pulled a second back with a fine goal. It was picked up 30 yards out by former PNE man Karl Hawley, who checked from right to left foot and curled a superb ball past the outstretched hand of Steve Simonsen, off the inside of the left hand post.
The home side were lifted by the goal, as were the terraces, but North End could have been back two ahead with a quarter of an hour left when Shane Cansdell-Sherriff poked Jack King's downward header inches past the left hand post from the penalty spot.
Prutton's 85th corner was headed over the bar by Niall Canavan and then Steve Simonsen saved from Clarke's header as the game entered the final minute, before again saving from Newey as the home side threw the kitchen sink at the Lilywhites to try and get an equaliser.
Six minutes were added to the clock by the match official Mr Nayler. In the second minute Duffy fired a free kick just past the right hand post, but North End rode out the late possession for the home side and held on for the three points.
Scunthorpe United: Slocombe, Ribeiro, Reid (Mirfin, 36), Canavan, Newey, Duffy, Gibbons (Collins, 46), Prutton, Ryan (Jennings, 72), Clarke, Hawley. Subs not used: Severn, Kennedy, Walker, Grella.
: Simonsen, Keane, Cansdell-Sherriff, Wroe, Huntington, Robertson, Monakana (Amoo, 67 (Byrom, 90)), Welsh, Beavon (Procter, 87), King, Laird. Subs not used: Stuckmann, Sodje, Beardsley, Cummins.PNE Line-Up
: Mr Michael NaylerReferee
: 2,671 (246 away fans)Attendance