PNE 2 Leyton Orient 2
It was David Mooney who opened the scoring within five minutes of the first whistle, picking up the ball ten yards inside the North End half and driving towards the penalty area, before firing low from the edge of the ‘D’ into the bottom left hand corner of debutant Sam Johnstone’s goal.
However, North End were level at the mid-point of the half, Jermaine Beckford powering a header into the top left hand corner from Paul Gallagher free kick – his first goal for the Lilywhites at Deepdale.
Gallagher himself then turned things on its head when Paul Gallagher converted from the spot after Kyel Reid had been upended, but Chris Dagnall grabbed a point for the O’s after firing low into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
Manager Simon Grayson handed a debut to Johnstone, as well as starting Paul Gallagher upfront with Jermaine Beckford and Kyel Reid returned to the side on the left wing.
The opening goal came after David Buchanan had been robbed in the centre of the park and Mooney, back into the side in a role just behind Lisbie and Dagnall, carried the ball before firing accurately into the corner.
North End had a couple of very good chances to draw level before they actually did. The first on ten minutes came from their first corner and real attack. It was a Reid inswinger that caused chaos in the box and eventually seemed to see Jermaine Beckford upended by Gary Sawyer tackle but referee Scott Duncan was unsighted.
Then on 15 minutes the Lilywhites had the ball in net through Neil Kilkenny, with deflected shot, but the linesman gave offside against Gallagher – replays showing Sawyer actually played him on.
Shortly after Gary Swayer blocked Paul Huntington’s header from another Reid corner but the ball didn’t bounce kindly for PNE.
The equaliser came right on 22 minutes – a Paul Gallagher free kick from the right had perfect delivery for Jermaine Beckford to power a header into the top right corner from the penalty spot – his first goal at Deepdale.
They were almost ahead before the break, a Paul Gallagher shot deflected wide by Josh Wright, it brought a Gallagher corner and Paul Huntington headed wide from ten yards out.
Gallagher himself had a chance to give North End the lead ten minutes after the break, Buchanan driving through and pulling the ball back to the No.12, but Nathan Clarke, brother of Tom, did well to get a block in and take the ball safely back to his keeper.
Sam Johnstone was called upon for the first time on 58 minutes and made a brilliant save to deny David Mooney a second, dropping low to his left to turn the ball round the post for a corner.
Substitute Scott Laird forced a save out of Woods five minutes after coming on for David Buchanan, who appeared to be carrying a knock, with Gary Woods spilling the No.3’s shot, but Gallagher unable to latch onto the rebound before Nathan Clarke.
But North End went ahead at the second period’s mid-point and it came from the spot. The Lilywhites should have had a penalty 90 seconds before when Paul Huntington was wrestled to the floor from a corner, but the referee had no choice but to point to the spot shortly after; Kyel Reid upended by Scott Cuthbert and Paul Gallagher stepped up with his ‘reverse penalty’ and drove the ball hard and into the middle of the Town End goal.
Just four minutes later it could have been three, a clever free kick from Gallagher on the left was played into Kyel Reid, who miss-kicked, only allowing the ball to go through to go through to Neil Kilkenny, whose shot was deflected wide for a corner.
However, the visitors drew level with 12 minutes left as Dagnall latched onto a Plasmati flick down, took advantage of a ricochet off Paul Huntington and fired low into the bottom right hand corner.
It could have been 3-2 within a minute as Humphrey latched onto a half clearance after a Paul Gallagher cross, but the wing man couldn’t keep his shot down.
Kevin Davies came on for his 800th career appearance in the final ten minutes, he and Alan Browne replacing Josh Brownhill and Chris Humphrey.
Five minutes of stoppage time was added on by the officials, but it was to be a draw.
PNE line-up: Johnstone, Wiseman, Buchanan (Laird, 53), Kilkenny, Clarke (c), Huntington, Humphrey (K Davies, 83), Brownhill (Browne, 83), Reid, Beckford, Gallagher. Subs not used: Stuckmann, Wright, Welsh, Ebanks-Blake.
Leyton Orient line-up: Woods, Sawyer, Cuthbert, Lisbie (Plasmati, 53), Mooney (Baudry, 81), Lowry, N Clarke (c), J Wright, Pritchard, Dagnall, Lundstram. Subs not used: Grainger, Lee, Agyemang, Adeboyejo, Dossena.
Attendance: 8,555 (134 away fans)
Referee: Mr S Duncan