Full-time: PNE 1 MK Dons 1

PNE v MK Dons

PNE v MK Dons

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Preston North End fought back to draw 1-1 with promotion rivals Milton Keynes Dons at Deepdale.

But despite fighting back from a goal down fourth-placed North End missed out on the opportunity to leapfrog the Dons and regain third spot in the League One table.

Kevin Davies missed a sitter in his first league start of the season. The veteran striker should have opened the scoring in the 19th minute but blasted the ball over the bar.

MK Dons hot-shot Dese Alli took advantage of PNE’s missed opportunity with a moment of magic as he tore down the left wing and teed up Carl Baker to tap home from three yards out in the 39th minute.

Despite having only one effort on target in the first 45 PNE upped the ante as Jermaine Beckford and Davies started to develop a partnership.

PNE boss Simon Grayson switched his formation to a traditional 4-4-2 shape and his faith in strike duo Beckford and Davies paid off as they were instrumental in forging North End’s equaliser.

On-loan Bolton man Beckford’s header ballooned wide but Davies chased the ball to the byline and cut it back into the path of the on-running Scott Wiseman. The defender pounced and thundered the ball past Dons keeper David Martin in the 68th minute.

Moments after the equaliser Beckford appeared to be unleashed on goal but he was brought down by Kyle McFadzean just over the half way mark. All of Deepdale expected referee David Coote to send the MK Dons man off as he appeared to be the last man but the referee only produced a yellow card.

Andy Little returned from injury to make his first appearance in three months replacing Beckford in the 84th minute and Scott Laird impressed in place of the injured David Buchanan.

Davies nearly made up for his earlier miss to make it 150 career goals with a fierce header in the 88th minute. But Martin dived low to his right to thwart the veteran striker.

PNE: Stuckmann, Wiseman, Clarke, Huntington, Laird, Humphrey (Reid, 63), Welsh, Kilkenny, Gallagher, Beckford (Little, 84), K Davies. Subs not used: Jones, Woods, King, Browne, Brownhill.

MK Dons: Martin, Lewington, McFadzean, Kay, Potter, Reeves (Bowditch, 72), Spence, Baker, Alli, Powell (Carruthers, 79) Afobe (Grigg, 90). Subs not used: McLoughlin, Hodson, Green, Baldock.

Referee: David Coote (Nottinghamshire)

Attendance: 9856 (332 away)