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PNE Faced Strong Premier League Test At Finch Farm

12 November 2015

A Preston North End Xl faced a strong Everton side in a bounce game at Finch Farm on Wednesday afternoon.

North End were beaten 4-3 in the end, twice coming back from behind to level the score, before goals from Leon Osman and Steven Naismith sealed the win. 

PNE used the game to get some game time and fitness into players on the fringes of the starting Xl, with a mix of experienced and young players featuring for North End. 

With the game being in the international break, Everton fielded a strong side, made up of the likes of Leighton Baines, Leon Osman, Steven Naismith, Arouna Kone and Aaron Lennon, amongst other experienced Premier League regulars. 

It was a slow start to the game for North End, with Everton pushing forward, hitting the woodwork twice early on, under the watchful eye of manager Roberto Martinez, but PNE soon grew into the game.

Everton took the lead through Leighton Baines, who is on his return from injury, his effort fired off the underside of the bar to give the hosts the lead. 

From then, North End were immediately looking for the equaliser, a succession of corners taken by Neil Kilkenny were well defended by the Toffees. 

PNE's first real chance of the game came after some nice play which saw Hugill break through towards goal, he squared it to Keane and it was cut out for a corner. It was Kilkenny again with the delivery, Stevie May was first to but saw his header go over the bar. 

Just before the break, North End equalised through an own goal to make it 1-1 at the end of the first half. 

The second half saw five goals, with Osman putting the hosts back in front just before the hour mark. Kone squared it to the Everton man from the right, and he smashed it home from close range into an open goal. 

Five minutes later, North End levelled things up again, this time through a superb header by young defender Josh Heaton at the far post, as he met a Kilkenny corner.

As the second half wore on, the Premier League side stepped it up and regained the lead in the 69th minute. Everton were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box and Kone bundled it over the line from close range after Baines' delivery. 

They doubled their advantage on 75 minutes after Naismith rounded the 'keeper and slotted home to make it 4-2. 

With ten minutes of the game remaining, Stevie May set up Josh Heaton for his second of the game to reduce the deficit, with that the last goal of the game, finishing 4-3. 

Video reaction from first team coach Steve Thompson, and midfielder John Welsh can be found on PNE PlayerHD by clicking here. 


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