Scunthorpe United 0 PNE 4
North End took the lead on 16 minutes, Garner converting Chris Humphrey’s right wing cross, before Miguel Llera put past his own keeper, with another assist from the Jamaican No.7 on PNE’s right. He himself then added the third just two minutes into the second half, checking in from the right and driving home left-footed.
Garner then doubled his tally to make it four with eight minutes left, heading home Josh Brownhill's cross as the Lilywhites ran out comfortable winners.
Manager Simon Grayson had been forced to make one change to his opening weekend league selection, Andy Little ruled out with a slight leg injury, Humphrey coming into the side – and taking that opportunity, making a real impact for the Lilywhites.
For former North End centre half Russ Wilcox, he was forced to select rookie keeper James Severn, making his first start, in the absence of first choice stopper Sam Slocombe.
Despite the first half dominance shown by the visitors it was the Iron who started the brighter of the two sides and had two good chances to open the scoring.
Firstly Paddy Madden raced through onto Lyle Taylor’s through ball and fired a shot from the edge of the box that ricocheted back off the cross bar and away to safety and then on eight minutes Jennison Myrie-Williams with shot from 30 yards out forcing Jamie Jones to make a fine save to clutch the ball from the top left hand corner.
But on 16 minutes Simon Grayson’s men took the lead. Some great play down the right by Chris Humphrey saw him beat Andy Dawson and then loft the ball over to Joe Garner, who controlled and fired viciously into the bottom right hand corner from 12 yards out. There was no celebration from the No.14 for his second goal of the season against his former club, who he spent time on loan with.
North End were now rampant, carving open the Scunthorpe defence at will. Paul Gallagher played ball into Garner on the left and then it came back to Gallagher, but his shot was over James Severn’s bar.
A Paul Gallagher corner was then headed against his own post by Niall Canavan, after a whipped ball from the left and the second finally arrived eight minutes before the interval.
Firstly it was almost two as the young Scunny keeper sliced a clearance and Gallagher received the ball on the left. His cross was met by Garner, but Miguel Llera got in a block and former PNE man Eddie Nolan heads behind.
From the corner Tom Clarke got a run on his marker, but his powerful header is just over the cross bar from 15 yards out at the back post, however, the pressure continued and North End pressed back down the right
This time Alan Browne found Chris Humphrey who out-muscled Dawson and pulled the ball back for Joe Garner, only for Miguel Llera to slide in first and put the ball past his own keeper into the bottom right hand corner.
Two minutes into the second half and Chris Humphrey grabbed the goal his first half deserved. It was an excellent break down the right and Calum Woods drove forward and played it into the Jamaican; he flew past Dawson and checked inside onto his left foot and drilled the ball low into the bottom left hand corner from 15 yards out.
The home side were still a threat as Lyle Taylor saw a shot blocked and then Myrie-Williams met a Dawson cross from the left and header down, beating Jones, but seeing his effort come back off the post and Paddy Madden fire the rebound high over the bar.
Just before the hour mark Jack King replaced Bailey Wright and moments later it was almost four as Joe Garner, Alan Browne and Neil Kilkenny all bore down on the Scunthorpe goal. Garner chose to go it alone, but his shot was well saved by Severn, low to his right.
It was four with eight minutes left as another swift counter-attack saw Joe Garner take the ball from Josh Brownhill - the No.14 returned it to the youngster who then crossed to the back post to where Garner had run, heading back across Severn into the bottom right hand corner to add a cherry on the top of a fantastic away performance in front of a jubilant following in North Lincolnshire.
Scunthorpe United line-up: Severn, Nolan, Dawson, McAllister, Canavan, Madden, Myrie-Williams (Adelakun, 68), Bishop (c), Taylor (Burton, 58), McSheffrey (Hawkridge, 76), Llera. Subs not used: Weaver, Sparrow, Bateson, Addison.
PNE line-up: Jones, Woods, B Davies, Kilkenny, Clarke (c), Wright (King, 58), Humphrey (Laird, 80), Browne, Garner, Brownhill, Gallagher (Huhurst, 73). Subs not used: Stuckmann, Wiseman, K Davies, Welsh.
Attendance: 4,013 (721 away fans)
Referee: Mr A Madley