PNE 1 Shrewsbury Town 0
Hugill slid home from close range just before the hour mark, meeting Calum Woods’ pull back from the byline.
For North End Thorsten Stuckmann made his first competitive start since last year’s JPT tie with Oldham, whilst Paul Huntington and David Buchanan also made their first starts of the season.
It was a very quiet opening period, played on a balmy September evening, but it was the Lilywhites who started the brighter of the sides. Jordan Hugill, again selected to the lead the line, met a right wing cross from Will Hayhurst in the third minute, but the effort was straight at Jayson Leutwiler, who claimed at the second attempt.
North End’s backline looked under very little threat in the opening half, Jermaine Grandison going closest to causing any sort of problems, the powerful defender meeting Jordan Clark’s corner six minutes before the break, only to beat the cross bar, a yard over the top.
Into the second half, after another sedate start, an excellent ball from the left saw Grandison at the other end slice the ball over his own bar from six yards out and then from the resulting corner Hugill’s header was inches over the bar from Hayhurst’s right wing delivery in front of the Town End.
This sparked a good spell for North End and they went ahead just before the hour mark. The ball was worked quickly down the left hand side before eventually being switched out to Calum Woods on the right; he full back drove to the byline before pulling the ball back to the edge of the six yard box to where Hugill pounced, sliding the ball home into the middle of the goal.
Thorsten Stuckmann was called into action for the first time five yards after the goal as Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro road a challenge and stepped inside onto his left foot 25 yards from goal before unleashing a drive that the German had to be at full stretch to tip round the post for a corner.
Straight up the other end Scott Laird was brought down 25 yards out and Josh Brownhill lined up the free kick, hitting a vicious drive that was heading goalwards until a last ditch deflection took it wide, however, the officials seemed to miss this massive deviation of the ball and gave a goal kick!
Kyel Reid made his long-awaited debut with 18 minutes left, his first run out in a North End shirt, whilst the visitors threw on three forward thinking players to try and get back into the game.
It was almost two in the second minute of injury time as substitute Joe Garner raced down the right and delivered into the box; the ball was half cleared but only to Alan Browne 25 yards out who drilled goalwards, only for Mark Ellis to manage to get the smallest of deflections to take the ball wide as the game ended 1-0.
PNE line-up: Stuckmann, Woods, Buchanan, Welsh (c), Huntington, King, Hayhurst, Browne, Hugill (K Davies, 67), Brownhill (Garner, 82), Laird (Reid, 72). Subs not used: Jones, Keane.
Shrewsbury Town line-up: Leutwiler, Grandison, Demetriou (Collins, 69), Woods (Wesolowski, 72), Ellis, Gayle, Griffith, Caton (Vernon, 59), Knight-Percival (c), Clark, Akpa Akpro. Subs not used: Burton, Goldson.
Attendance: 4,029 (196 away fans)
Referee: Mr C Kavanagh