Neil Mellor saved the day for PNE as he swept home to seal North End’s fight back against Wycombe Wanderers.
NEIL Mellor fuelled Preston North End’s dramatic comeback for Phil Brown’s side as his late goal clinched all three points at Adams Park.
Mellor drew first blood before teeing-up strike partner Iain Hume as PNE raced into a two-goal lead with just nine minutes on the clock.
But North End’s cushion was short lived as goals from Gareth Ainsworth, Scott Donnelly and Stuart Beavon gave the Chairboys a 3-2 half-time lead.
After the break North End came out firing and Hume levelled in the 64th minute before Mellor swept the ball home with 17 minutes to go.
The game started in frantic fashion as Wycombe went close to opening the scoring.
But North End went ahead in the seventh minute as Paul Coutts’ right-wing cross was flicked-on by Clarke Carlisle into the path of Mellor.
Just 60 seconds later PNE doubled their tally with a slick counter-attacking move.
North End cleared a Wycombe corner and Mellor raced down the left before picking out Hume who drilled the ball past Nikki Bull.
But the Chairboys scored just four minutes later as North End keeper Andreas Arestidou spilled Andy Sandell’s low free-kick into the path of Ainsworth who gobbled up the rebound from close range.
Just seconds later Wycombe has levelled through a controversial penalty.
Conor McLaughlin appeared to get a touch to the ball but referee Michael Naylor ruled he had fouled Kadeem Harris in the box and pointed to the spot.
Donnelly stepped up to send Arestidou the wrong way.
Things turned from bad to worse in the 27th minute as Wycombe took the lead as Donnelly’s corner was nodded home by Beavon.
But Hume got North End back into the game as he pounced on a long ball before chipping Bull and Mellor latched on to David Gray’s pass to fire home from six-yards.