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First Team News

Match Report: Accrington Stanley 4 PNE Reserves 4

29 March 2022

An injury-time goal from Aaron Bennett helped Preston North End reserves earn a point against Accrington Stanley in a 4-4 draw in the Central League.

Goals from Jack Nolan and Marcel Lewis gave Stanley a half-time lead, and after Vaughn Green then got one back for North End, the visitors to Euxton – who were officially the home team – extended their lead almost immediately through Nolan.

PNE then scored two quick-fire goals on 61 and 63 minutes through Mikey O’Neill and Joe Rodwell-Grant respectively, and Owen Devonport claimed the lead back for Stanley on 75 minutes, before Bennett's long-range deflected strike in the 92nd minute earned a point.

It was Accrington Stanley who started off on the front foot, with Lewis seeing a close-range effort blocked before Tommy Leigh then had a 20-yard shot tipped wide by Oliver Lombard.

At the other end, O’Neill had a good chance to open the scoring on 22 minutes, with the ball falling kindly to him inside the area, but he fired just inches wide.

Accrington Stanley then took the lead just after the half-hour mark, as Lombard’s punch fell to Nolan, who found the bottom corner to break the deadlock.

After Jacob Slater headed over from close range for PNE, Stanley then doubled their advantage on 42 minutes, with a cross from the left landing with Lewis, and he was able to convert from inside the box.

Six minutes into the second period, North End got a goal back, as Bennett floated a nice cross towards the far post where Green was lurking and was able to tap home.

Accrington soon restored their two-goal advantage, though, as Nolan scored his second of the afternoon, firing a left-footed effort across Lombard and into the far corner.

Seven minutes later the gap was back down to one as O’Neill converted a spot-kick to the goalkeeper’s right, after Rodwell-Grant was brought down by Stephen Sama in the area.

North End then got straight back to it from kick-off, as a lovely interchange between O’Neill and Bennett saw the latter take aim, and the save which kept his shot out fell to Rodwell-Grant who was able to tap home to draw level.

PNE so nearly took the lead on 66 minutes when Kian Taylor broke free down the right and struck the bottom of the ‘keeper’s right-hand post.

It was Stanley who went in front, though, as substitute Devonport headed home from close range on 75 minutes, meeting a cross from the left, and Emerich Poilly almost made it five in the closing stages, but struck against the post.

That miss proved costly as, in the second minute of stoppage time, Bennett saw his effort deflect over the top of the goalkeeper and find the top corner to seal a draw.

PNE line-up: Lombard; Walbank, Blanchard, Best; Seary (Taylor, 50), Amaral, O’Neill, Bennett, Slater; Rodwell-Grant, Green. Subs not used: Davis, Lewis, Nelson, Cross-Adair.

Accrington Stanley line-up: Isherwood; Sama, Rich-Baghuelou, Proctor; Patrick, Moonan, Leigh (Polly, 75), Pritchard (Stowe, 45), Nolan; O’Sullivan (Devonport, 68), Lewis (Trickett, 85). Subs not used: Hood.

Referee: Mr A Ball.

Attendance: 93.


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