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Match Reports

Match Report: PNE 2 Southampton 2

25 October 2023

Match Reports

Match Report: PNE 2 Southampton 2

25 October 2023

Preston North End suffered late heartache at Deepdale as Southampton rescued a point in the sixth minute of added-time.

The Saints had a lead at the break courtesy of Kyle Walker-Peters’ strike, before half-time substitute Milutin Osmajić scored a stunning volley to draw level in the 51st minute.

He then sent Brad Potts on his way just a few minutes later to slam home and put PNE ahead, but an own goal with one of the last touches of the game meant the points were shared.

PNE could have scored in the third minute of the match – as they did on Saturday – when Alan Browne’s flick fell for Greg Cunningham at the back post, but he couldn’t direct his header on target.

Seven minutes in, Liam Millar then came even closer as his curled effort towards the far corner was tipped wide by Gavin Bazunu at full stretch.

Southampton were seeing much of the ball, as can be expected from a Russell Martin side, but PNE were limiting them to very little, with Adam Armstrong and James Bree’s long-range strikes being the only real attacking play of note.

North End had another few opportunities themselves, with Millar and Mads Frøkjær shooting from distance, but it was the Saints who would take the lead on 33 minutes, as Walker-Peters picked up the ball on the right-hand side, cut onto his left foot and curled into the far corner.

With their tails up, Southampton went for a second just three minutes later, but Che Adams directed Will Smallbone’s cross just wide at the near post.

North End had their best chance yet and a penalty shout in the 41st minute when Millar’s cross fell to Will Keane, and his low effort was saved by ‘keeper Gavin Bazunu, but appeals were waved away when the ball then appeared to strike the arm of Shea Charles on the goal-line.

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Osmajić came on for PNE at the break and made an instant impact, closing down Bazunu’s clearance just 15 seconds in, lifting the atmosphere inside Deepdale.

That set the tone for the next five minutes as North End really went at their visitors and the Montenegrin forward drew his side level with a quite stunning volley from 20 yards when the ball dropped his way after Whiteman’s free-kick was headed out.

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Osmajić then turned provider just three minutes later as he cushioned it into the path of Potts who did so well to hold off his man before firing under Bazunu, cuing huge celebrations both on and off the pitch.

Deepdale was bouncing and it seemed PNE had all the momentum, but Freddie Woodman had to be on full alert to keep out Stuart Armstrong’s free-kick and a header from Kamaldeen Sulemana soon after.

Nine minutes from time, the lively Millar set off on a blistering counter and his low cross so nearly found Osmajić at the near post, with Jan Bednarek just getting there first.

Sulemana sent PNE a warning in the 87th minute, firing just wide from inside the area, and North End then suffered a sucker punch in the sixth minute of added-time as a corner kick was inadvertently headed beyond Woodman by a North End body.

PNE line-up: Woodman; Potts, Storey, Lindsay, Cunningham; Whiteman, Browne; Holmes (Ledson 89), Frøkjær (Osmajić, 45), Millar; Keane (Evans, 75). Subs not used: Cornell, Bauer, Brady, Stewart, Woodburn, Best.

Southampton line-up: Bazunu; Walker-Peters, Holgate, Bernarek, Bree; Smallbone (S. Armstrong, 57), Downes (Fraser, 72), Charles; A. Armstrong (Alcaraz, 82), Adams (Mara, 45), Edozie (Sulemana, 58). Subs not used: McCarthy, Aribo, Amo-Ameyaw, Meghoma.

Attendance: 15,346 (1,581 Southampton fans).

Referee: Mr J Simpson.


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