Derby County 1 PNE 1
The No.29 raced onto Chris Maxwell’s deep ball in behind and cleverly clipped the ball up and over Scott Carson to give the yellows a deserved draw against Steve McLaren’s men.
Matej Vydra had previously given the home side the lead five minutes into the second half. The former Watford forward stabbed home from close range after former North End striker David Nugent’s shot had deflected off a PNE heel into his path.
Manager Simon Grayson had sprung a surprise in his team, giving Andy Boyle his debut at centre half on his 26th birthday in a 4-4-2 formation, with Gallagher, Pearson and Robinson also restored to the starting XI.
The teams exchanged headed chances in the opening minutes, Vydra heading over from Cyrus Christie’s cross from the right and Jordan Hugill going close at the other end from Paul Gallagher’s pin point delivery from the North End right.
And it was another cross from the No.12 that saw the ball in the net for the first time just after the half hour mark, a superb deep ball finding a well-timed run from Callum Robinson at the back post. The striker headed powerfully past former England ’keeper Carson, but the linesman adjudged the No.37 to be offside when replays showed he was very much on.
The opener came five minutes after the break as Nugent raced into a right hand channel and drove into the box; he hit an early shot, but it hit a heel of a North End defender and fell perfectly for Vydra to lash home from ten yards out.
Into the closing five minutes and Christie made a superb goalline clearance to deny Paul Huntington a leveller; the centre half powering a header from McGeady’s cross from the left goalwards, only for the Irish right back to hoof the ball up and over the bar.
Five minutes stoppage time was added and in the final minute of stoppage time it was all-square. Maxwell did brilliantly to come out to the half way line and collect a cleared ball and played it in behind the Rams defence, Barkhuizen ran onto it clipped it over Carson and into the net before a back-tracking Marcus Olsson could get back to it.
Derby County line-up: Carson, Christie, Russell (Bryson, 90), Ince, Baird, Johnson, Pearce (c), Butterfield, Vydra (Camara, 74), Nugent (Bent, 82), Olsson. Subs not used: Mitchell, Anya, De Sart, Hughes.
PNE line-up: Maxwell, Clarke (c), Cunningham, Pearson, Huntington, Boyle, Barkhuizen, Gallagher (Johnson, 74), Robinson (Horgan, 62), Hugill (Makienok, 79), McGeady. Subs not used: Lindegaard, Browne, Makienok, Spurr, May.
Attendance: 26,301 (435 PNE fans)
Referee: Mr J Linington