PNE 2 Coventry City 2
North End came from behind to grab a point in an entertaining 2-2 draw at Deepdale.
The Lilywhites took the lead on the half hour mark, Cummins firing home from close range from Jeffrey Monakana’s right wing cross, but the Sky Blues levelled matter up eight minutes later, Leon Clarke firing home from within the six yard box after Franck Moussa’s cross from the left.
An own goal on 53 minutes after Carl Baker's right wing cross put the visitors in front, but Nicky Wroe's ninth goal of the season on the hour mark levelled things up to give both sides a point.
It was an entertaining first period with Thorsten Stuckmann making a number of excellent stops, but the Lilywhites having chances of their own.
The in-form visitors started well and Moussa was put through by former North End loanee Leon Clarke on three minutes, but North End’s German stopper did well to turn the ball behind for a corner.
The Lilywhites were shouting for either a goal or a penalty on six minutes when Jack King rose highest in the box to meet North End’s first corner, a whipped inswinger from Nicky Wroe. The team felt it had either crossed the line or hit a hand, but Carl Baker kept it out and the officials saw nothing.
With 12 minutes on the clock Stuckmann showed his acrobatic skills to brilliantly tip over to deny the Coventry skipper, Baker, his left foot pile-driver sent in from 25 yards out. Three minutes later the North End No.1 was needed again, this time to tip over from Leon Clarke’s header after left wing cross deep to the back post.
A minute later James Bailey fired over from Baker’s pass in from the right, a great chance missed on the penalty spot.
North End had a good chance to open the scoring just after the mid-point of the half. A long throw by debutant Paul Connolly was flicked on by Jack King and Graham Cummins; Monakana was in on the right, he tried to pull the ball back, but saw it blocked - it came out to King who curled a right footed effort just over the top left hand corner of the bar.
On 27 minutes Stuckmann denied Baker again, as he curled a right footed effort from the left corner of the box after a corner is not cleared.
However, on the half hour mark the Lilywhites went ahead and a great goal it was. It started with a brilliant ball from 17-year-old youth team left back Ben Davies. He hit a ball from the back to Lee Holmes down the left, he worked the ball into the box to Jack King, who laid it off to Chris Robertson, who played the ball out to the right to Jeffrey Monakana, the winger firing a cross low to the back post where Graham Cummins drove the ball home from close range.
But the Sky Blues responded seven minutes before the interval. Leon Clarke bringing down Moussa’s cross and finishing low to Stuckmann’s left.
There was almost immediate reaction from North End, as within a minute of the equaliser, Lee Holmes ran from deep, held off two defenders, beat Joe Murphy, but was an inch past the right hand post.
The second half was equally as eventful; Nicky Wroe whipping a 30 yard free kick an inch past the left hand post on 49 minutes.
It was end-to-end throughout; one side having an attacking spell and then the other.
The visitors had the lead on 53 minutes. Carl Baker did very well on the right hand of the box before drilling a ball across to the edge of the six yard box where the ball was turned home by a North End defender when trying to clear.
Back up the other end Joe Murphy was needed to scramble away a North End corner after Bailey Wright's header just two minutes after the goal.
And on the hour mark Graham Westley's men were back level. Again Ben Davies was involved with a right-footed ball in from the left to Jack King at the back post; he headed it down and top scorer Nicky Wroe fired low under Murphy from six yards out for his ninth goal of the season.
With 15 minutes left Cummins had an excellent chance to give North End the lead again, finding space at the back post to meet a left wing Nicky Wroe free kick, but he could only direct his header wide right.
North End made three changes in the remaining minutes, looking to inspire three points and with four minutes added on and with the final touch of the game, North End went close to a winner as a Lee Holmes free kick was swung in from the right, met by Bailey Wright, but scrambled away by the visitors to grab a point.
: Stuckmann, Connolly, Davies (Buchanan, 84), Byrom (Procter, 71), Robertson, Wright, Wroe, King, Cummins (Garner, 83), Monakana, Holmes. Subs not used: Taylor, Huntington, Beardsley, Beavon.PNE line-up
: Murphy, Baker, Fleck (Barton, 90), Jennings, L Clarke, Christie, Wood, Edjenguele, Moussa, Bailey, Adams. Subs not used: J Clarke, Thomas, Cameron, Bell, Dunn, O’Donovan.Coventry City line-up
: 8,474 (767 away fans)Attendance
: Mr David CooteReferee