Yeovil Town 0 PNE 2
Huntington, against his former club, headed home Gallagher’s fifth minute corner to give the yellows an interval lead on their third visit to Huish Park.
The hosts were reduced to ten men when Ryan Inniss was given a straight red card for a two-footed lunge on Kyel Reid with 25 minutes still to go and the points were wrapped up when Gallagher collected substitute Kevin Davies’ brilliant through ball to run clean through and slot home from the 15 yards out.
Manager Simon Grayson made four changes to the side that progressed in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy in midweek, Paul Gallagher and Neil Kilkenny returning, whilst Jermaine Beckford was included for his league debut.
And it was a blistering start for North End. Chris Humphrey won a corner on the right in front of the travelling PNE fans and Gallagher whipped over a deep outswinger and Huntington, the former Glovers skipper, rose highest at the back to head into the top left hand corner within the opening five minutes.
The game was pretty scrappy after the opener, the home side’s stand in keeper Artur Krysiak – who was a late change to on loan Villa man Jed Steer – coming out on 19 minutes at the feet of Beckford after Gallagher won 50/50 on half way and then played channel ball for the front man down the right.
Just after the half hour mark a great run from the right by Scott Wiseman saw him create space, cutting inside into box and then firing left footed, the shot blocked for a corner.
Moments later John Welsh danced forward from midfield, exchanged a one-two with Beckford before lobbing keeper, but his effort was just wide of right hand post.
Thorsten Stuckmann, who had been bandaged up after a head injury mid-way through the half, made a fine block save to deny Sam Foley after a long ball into loanee Tom Eaves had caused problems in the North End area just three minutes before the break.
The visitors had made two changes around the hour mark to try and stretch the game, but a controversial moment on 64 minutes as Ryan Inniss, the big Yeovil centre half, was given a straight red card for a two-footed challenge on Kyel Reid just outside the centre circle in the Yeovil half.
North End and in particular Reid, booed every time he touched the ball, got much more space after the red card and his effort with seven minutes left, a powerful driven effort from just outside the left hand corner of the box, was well saved by Krysiak.
And the points were wrapped up in the 90minute as North broke with a purpose, Humphrey clearing to Kevin davies, who held the ball up superbly, before cleverly flicking it through to an unmarked and onrushing Paul Gallagher who raced away and classily clipped the ball over Krysiak and into the right hand corner of the Yeocil goal.
Yeovil Town line-up: Krysiak, Smith, Edwards, Dawson (Gillett. 83), Berrett (Hayter, 61), Foley, J Clarke, Davis (Ralph, 58), Inniss, Arthurworrey, Eaves. Subs not used: Stewart, Moloney, Leitch-Smith, Hoskins.
PNE line-up: Stuckmann, Wiseman, Buchanan, Kilkenny (King, 71), Clarke (c), Huntington, Humphrey, Welsh (Brownhill, 76), Beckford (K Davies, 86), Gallagher, Reid. Subs not used: Jones, Laird, K Davies, Fewster, Browne.
Attendance: 4,343 (471 away fans)
Referee: Mr D Deadman