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Match Reports

Match Report: PNE Reserves 2 Blackpool 2

24 January 2023

A late stunner from Kian Best earned Preston North End reserves a point against Blackpool in the Central League.

PNE went ahead 12 minutes in through Finlay Cross-Adair before Tayt Trusty equalised for the visitors with virtually the last kick of the first half. 

Blackpool then thought they’d done enough to earn victory when Ewan Bange scored in the 87th minute, but Best – fresh from his late winner in the FA Youth Cup against Gillingham last week – popped up with another fantastic strike to draw level.  

The visitors enjoyed the first chances of the game, firstly through Luke Mariette, who curled a left-footed effort over from 25 yards, before Josh Nyame then had a powerful strike of his own saved. 

Mariette also dragged an effort wide of goal on 12 minutes and, within seconds, North End went down the other end to take the lead. Nelson did well to slot the ball through for Cross-Adair and the striker made no mistake by slotting it under the ‘keeper. 

Jacob Slater came close to a second on the half-hour mark as he saw an effort from a tight angle strike the woodwork, while Cross-Adair and Nelson almost combined again minutes later but a defender came to the rescue. 

The latter also had a big penalty shout on 37 minutes, as he looked to be hacked down after a clever touch and turn inside the area, but the appeals were waved away. 

After Donovan Lescott had sent an effort wide from a promising position, Blackpool got themselves an equaliser in the second minute of stoppage-time through Trusty, who pounced after Pradic had parried an effort out. 

Shortly into the second half, Mariette had a big chance to give his side the lead, but he couldn’t find the target as the ball fell his way just a few yards out. 

At the other end, North End came close themselves on 66 minutes through half-time substitute Ellis Horan, who saw his goalbound effort take a nick off a defender and spin inches wide. 

It looked as though Blackpool had done enough to earn the points with just three minutes left on the clock as Bange took the ball in well with his back to goal, before turning and finding the back of the net. 

Best had other ideas, though, as he scored his second goal in as many games, picking the ball up 25 yards out and drilling it low into the bottom corner to earn a point for his side. 

PNE line-up: Pradic; Wallbank, Taylor, Best; Seary, Kamara (Coulton, 67), Mawene, Bennett (Horan, 45), Seary (Eccleston, 88); Cross-Adair, Nelson. Subs not used: Davis, Pemberton.

Blackpool line-up: S Moore; J Moore, Squires, Lankshear, Hughes; Trusty, Nyame (Francis, 63), Mariette; Lescott (Byron, 88), Strawb, Emmerson (Bange, 60). Subs not used: Donkor, Bardsley.

Attendance: 147

Referee: Mr C Porter. 


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