Ten man North End picked up their first win of the season with a brilliant 1-0 victory at stadium:mk.
Paul Gallagher opened the scoring with the Lilywhites’ first league goal of the season just before the half hour mark with a smart finish after a passing move involving Keane and Garner.
Jordan Hugill was sent off three minutes after coming on after tangling with Kyle McFadzean, but the Lilywhites defended resolutely to pick up a win on the road.
There was one changed forced on manager Simon Grayson, with Marnick Vermijl missing out with a slight knock and Chris Humphrey replacing him at right wing back.
The game started brightly and a mistake by Dons keeper David Martin almost brought PNE the opener as the No.1 presented the ball to Will Keane on the edge of the box; he played a short pass to Garner but it was intercepted by Kyle McFadzean for the first corner of the game for PNE.
The home side’s first chance on five minutes came as Sam Gallagher slammed wide across the face of goal after Dean Bowditch had cleverly taken the ball away from Huntington and Humphrey in the box.
On the quarter hour mark Garner broke down the left hand side and into the box, he checked back and tried to play in Gallagher, but the pass was blocked.
The best chance for the home in the 19th minute with a wonderful diving save from Jordan Pickford to palm the ball out for a corner from Sam Gallagher’s back post header from Dean Bowditch’s cross.
North End were playing on the counter attack and a Daniel Johnson left foot effort from 20 yards out was inches wide of the right hand post after Welsh had played the ball into Gallagher and the No.12 played a great switch out to the left.
But the opener came just before the half hour mark with some brilliant play by PNE. Keane picked up a long clearance and he threaded a ball with the outside of his right boot out to Garner on the right who raced down the right, cut inside and then pushed the ball into the path of Gallagher, who turned his defender inside out before sliding the ball under Martin from 12 yards out.
On 33 minutes what was almost an instant replay of an earlier chance as again Keane picked up the ball in the midfield and freed Johnson on the left and yet again fired inches wide of the right hand post from 20 yards.
Five minutes before the interval PNE have ball in back of net from skipper Tom Clarke from Gallagher’s corner from the right, but referee Andy Madley decided that goalkeeper David Martin was fouled when it seemed like he was surrounded by his own men!
North End started brightly after the break and Garner met a Gallagher corner on 51 minutes, but couldn’t keep it down and the ball flashed over the cross bar from the penalty spot.
Gallagher again went close with a deflected shot with ten minutes of the half gone, the nick from Kay taking the ball out for a corner, with Keane and Garner both also seeing shots blocked in the build-up.
But with seven minutes to go North End were down to ten men when substitute Jordan Hugill, only on the pitch for three minutes, was given a straight red card after appearing to help up Kyle McFadzean and then tangling with him.
Despite that, even with six minutes of added time the Lilywhites defended brilliantly to hold on for their first win of the season.
: Martin, Lewington (c), McFadzean, Kay, Baker (Church, 78), Potter, Bowditch (Jennings, 78), Reeves, Spence, Gallagher, Carruthers (Benavente, 67). Subs not used: Cropper, Hodson, Walsh, Aguza.MK Dons line-up
: Pickford, Humphrey (Woods, 88), Cunningham, Clarke (c), Huntington, Wright, Welsh, Johnson, Gallagher (Browne, 77), Keane (Hugill, 80), Garner. Subs not used: Kirkland, Kilkenny, Davies, Brownhill.PNE line-up
: Mr A MadleyReferee
: 11,035 (1,208 away fans)Attendance