PNE 2 Milton Keynes Dons 2
Both sides had to settle for a point at Deepdale after an entertaining 2-2 draw.
The opening goal came on the ten minute mark as Anthony Kay could do nothing but put into his own net from Chris Humphrey’s drilled right wing cross.
The visitors were level just after the half hour mark when an exquisite shot from Jason Banton from 30 yards gave Declan Rudd no chance and ended in the top left hand corner.
The Lilywhites were back ahead before the break as the lead only lasted three minutes, Joe Garner capitalises on a short back pass and Joe Garner scored his first Deepdale goal, slotting coolly into the bottom right hand corner.
A penalty drew the Dons level, Shaun Williams converting after Chris Humphrey had brought down Stephen Gleeson just after the hour mark.
North End, starting with Garner in attack alongside Kevin Davies; and it was Davies who was involved in their first chance, nodding down Chris Humphrey’s cross. Joe Garner tried to control the cushioned header, but couldn’t get a header away.
The bright start continued with Keith Keane breaking from the middle of the park and firing straight at David Martin in the Dons net.
Simon Grayson’s side took the lead ten minutes in. Some great slick passing saw Lee Holmes fed the ball in the middle of the park; he used the slick surface to slide Chris Humphrey in down the right hand side; he drilled a ball across the six yard box and sliding in in front of Kevin Davies was Anthony Kay who could do nothing but slam the ball into the back of his own net.
Davies looked sharp up front and he stung the gloves of David Martin on 16 minutes, the palmed away ball just being hooked away by Jon Otsemobor before Keith Keane could smash the ball home.
A minute later and a long clearance from Declan Rudd got behind the Dons defence and Joe Garner collected it at the Kop end byline. He pulled it back for Humphrey before crossing deep to Davies, but the No.9’s header was inches back past the right hand post with Martin beaten.
Just before the half hour mark Garner ran clean through onto Davies’ flick; Anthony Kay appeared to pull him back, which if the referee agreed would have surely meant a red card, however, he did not agree and Mark Brown, the match official, waved ‘play on’.
Against the run of play the visitors drew level two minute later with a terrific shot; Jason Banton collecting near the left touchline and driving in and firing a shot from 30 yards that went like a rocket into the top left hand corner, Declan Rudd having no chance.
However, Karl Robinson’s side were only level for three minutes as Joe Garner capitalised on a short back pass to David Martin, raced in and slotted the ball past the helpless keeper into the bottom right hand corner, for the North End fan’s first goal at Deepdale since his January transfer.
The visiting goalkeeper was now under a fair bit of pressure and seven minutes before the break he was almost closed down twice and then caught out of his goal as Lee Holmnes lobbed him from 40 yards, the opportunity ending up inches wide of the right hand post.
On 39 minutes PNE won a corner with a break down right; pressure from Holmes doing the trick again. The wing man took the inswinging corner this time; and Blackpool hero Tom Clarke got there with a bullet header, but this time it flew over the bar from eight yards out.
Within five minutes of the second half Davies combined well with Garner again, the latter heading down perfectly for the summer recruit to unleash a powerful effort from the right hand corner of the box just over the corner of post and bar.
Some superb passing and counter-attacking football followed with Lee Holmes almost bringing about own goal number two; this time Kay conceded a corner from the powerful cross from the left, but North End couldn't convert.
But on 62 minutes the visitors were given a chance to draw level when Chris Humphrey was adjudged to have fouled Stephen Gleeson on the left hand edge of the box and Shaun Williams had a penalty in front of the away fans and slotted it low into the left hand side, sending the keeper the wrong way.
North End had an excellent effort from substitute Nicky Wroe ruled out for offside with 17 minutes left as both sides went in search of a winner.
Patrick Bamford had a great chance to win it for the visitors, when he exchanged a 1-2 with Chadwick on the egde of the box, but he slid his shot with the outside of his left boot past Rudd, but also past the outside of the left hand upright with seven minutes left on the clock.
A minute later and a hand ball on the edge of the area gave North Ends a free kick 25 yards out in a right hand channel. Lee Holmes lined it up and got it up and over the wall, but Martin did well to claim low in the left hand corner.
On 87 minutes it was like a repeat as Tom Clarke got up to meet a Holmes cross, but this time, with the keeper beaten a Milton Keynes defender cleared off the line.
Three minutes were added on, but neither side could get the winner in an entertaining game at Deepdale.
: Rudd, Clarke, Buchanan, Keane, Huntington, Wright, Humphrey (Monakana, 68), Welsh (Wroe, 67), Davies, Garner (Beavon, 76), Holmes. Subs not used: Stuckmann, Laird, Mousinho, Hume.PNE line-up
: Martin, Otsemobor, Hodson, Williams, Gleeson, Potter, Alli (Chadwick, 55), Bamford, Baldock (Carruthers, 55), Banton (McLeod, 56), Kay. Subs not used: Flanagan, Smith, Reeves, McLoughlin.MK Dons line-up
: Mr M BrownReferee
: 9,944 (182 away fans)Attendance