PNE 1 MK Dons 1
The forward opened the scored on six minutes, but Nicky Maynard equalised after the break and Dons striker Alex Revell went in goal after keeper Cody Cropper had seen red and saved a penalty from Joe Garner to give his side a point.
Beckford made his return to the starting line-up for the first time since May 24th at Wembley, picked in attack alongside Eoin Doyle.
And the No.10 could have scored in the first 70 seconds, collecting the ball after Ben Pearson’s harrying in the midfield had won the ball and slid it through for the front man, but he just couldn’t make a connection.
However, his first goal since the famous hat-trick came on six minutes as Anders Lindegaard’s long ball was flicked on by Eoin Doyle, and Dons keeper Cody Cropper slipped as he tried to close down Beckford, who calmly fired past the American from 15 yards out into the bottom right corner.
It could and perhaps should have been three or four before the break. A dozen minutes in Marnick Vermijl fired over the bar from ten yards out from Paul Gallagher’s cross from the right, after some great build up.
Shotly after Paul Huntington had a go on the volley from Gallagher’s ball in; it deflected for a corner, and from Gallagher’s inswinger from the left Greg Cunningham headed just wide of the right hand post.
It took until just after the half hour mark for Lindegaard to be involved in defensive action, making a great save from Nicky Maynard at close range, but on the counter North End eventually saw Greg Cunningham run from 40 yards out and hit a pile-driver that Cropper brilliantly palmed away and Walsh put behind for a corner, from which Wright flicked a header just over the bar.
The visitors were back under the cosh and a header off the line by Joe Walsh prevented Doyle’s header from making it two after Gallagher’s ball from the left was put back into the mixer by Reach.
On the stroke of the interval Cunningham dragged another shot wide from Adam Reach’s pass after a great move down the left.
In first half injury time the relegation threatened Dons were lucky not to be down to ten men. Dean Bowditch should have been sent off in the space of a minute after terrible fouls on both Ben Pearson and Anders Lindegaard, but somehow he escaped without even a yellow card!
However, the Dons were back level eight minutes into the second half when Nicky Maynard poked in from close range after getting ahead of his marker following a cross in from the left by Josh Murphy.
And Maynard had another chance before the hour mark, flicking Kyle McFadzean’s head down over the bar after a corner from the right hand side.
Lindegaard made an outstanding save to deny McFadzean with 20 minutes left. A deep ball in from the left from Dean Bowditch, finding the centre half and the Danish keeper getting a hand to deny the No.5 at point blank range.
But with nine minutes to go the game exploded to life again. The visitors were down to ten men when keeper Cody Cropper was shown a straight red for bringing down Eoin Doyle who had run onto a flick on from substitute Joe Garner.
The Dons had used all their substitutes and thus Alex Revell took the shirt and gloves and faced up to Joe Garner and made a brilliant penalty save low to his left to keep out the spot kick, hitting the post with his head in doing so needing treatment.
Into the final few minutes and it was frantic, Callum Robinson fired over with only Revell to beat in the final minute and then six more were added on by referee Stuart Attwell, but despite having all the possession North End couldn’t get the winner.
PNE line-up: Lindegaard, Vermijl, Cunningham, Pearson (Browne, 72), Wright, Huntington, Reach (Robinson, 79), Johnson, Beckford (Garner, 67), Doyle, Gallagher (c). Subs not used: Kirkland, Clarke, Welsh, Hugill.
MK Dons line-up: Cropper, Lewington (c), McFadzean, Potter, Bowditch, Spence (Baker, 77), Carruthers, Walsh, Maynard (Revell, 67), Murphy, Forster-Caskey (Williams, 46). Subs not used: Burns, Kay, Powell, Long.
Attendance: 10,457 (250 away fans)
Referee: Mr S Attwell