Preston North End have moved into the automatic promotion places after a dramatic finish to their league fixture against Doncaster. In the Lancashire versus Yorkshire clash, it was up to a late volley from Jermaine Beckford to rescue the hosts from embarrassment.
Doncaster Rovers ran riot in a manic five minutes for PNE as Harry Forrester and Curtis Main scored goals to turn the tides on the fixture. PNE started confidently in the tie and had some brilliant chances to take the lead. An in-swinging free kick from Paul Gallagher was headed wide in the first minute of the match.
Chances kept on coming but Bywater wasn’t truly tested until the 13th minute. The ball worked its way to Daniel Johnson on the edge of the box after clever link-up play between Callum Robinson and Paul Gallagher. Johnson curled his effort against the bottom of the left hand post and the ball nestled in the net.
With the lead and the momentum going into half time, everything was going well for Simon Grayson’s side. Doncaster came out in the second half eager to equalise and get something out of the chilling evening. The substitutions to bring Harry Forrester and James Coppinger proved influential as the team formation changed to offensive.
Forrester’s effort in the 81st minute levelled the scoring after pressure was applied to the Preston back four. Having found time and space in the box, his low shot was accurate enough to be Sam Johnstone who could only watch as the ball whizzed into the net.
Minutes later Curtis Main stunned Deepdale by scoring his 7th goal of the season. The 22 year old headed past Johnstone with his first shot on target in the match.
It was up to the late reply of substitute Jermaine Beckford to save the Lilywhites and to continue their unbeaten run. His 94th minute strike means that it’s been 6 games since PNE tasted defeat. With MK Dons and Swindon Town losing their fixtures, Preston North End have moved up to second in the table.
Whether it will be seen as a disappointing result after losing their lead is up for the fans to decide. But it could prove to be a crucial point for the club as they now hope to stay in the automatic promotion places.
PNE: Johnstone, Clarke, Huntington, Wright, Laird, Humphrey, Welsh, Johnson, Gallagher (Kilkenny, 69), Robinson (Beckford, 86), Garner (K Davies, 79).
Doncaster: Bywater, Furman (Coppinger, 65), Razak (Forrester, 57), Main, McCullough, Tyson, Butler, Stevens, Keegan (Ikpeazu, 71), Wellens, Wabara.