MATCH REPORT: PNE 1 Wolves 1

PNE v Wolves
PNE v Wolves
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Deepdale threatened to boil over as nine-man PNE were denied victory by a late Wolves goal.

Daniel Johnson opened the scoring in the 10th minute with a sublime curling shot after pouncing on Joe Garner’s flick-on.

But just 10 minutes later North End were reduced to 10-men when referee Trevor Kettle sent Garner off for a high-footed challenge.

Kettle angered the home faithful with a number of debatable decisions - especially the sending off of Bailey Wright in the 81st minute for a second bookable offence.

But PNE, lead by captain and man-of-the-match Tom Clarke at the back, put in a fine defensive performance and would have taken all three points had it not been for a moment of magic by Kevin McDonald.

The former Burnley man picked up the ball on the edge of the box and sublimely fired the ball into the top corner in the 91st minute.

PNE boss Simon Grayson made two changes to the side that lost to Bournemouth on penalties on Tuesday night.

Garner and new signing Adam Reach came in for Stevie May and Chris Humphrey.

It was a quiet start but in-form Johnson soon rippled the back of the net.

Garner nodded the ball into the path of Johnson who curled the ball home from the edge of the box in the 10th minute.

The goal galvanised PNE as new boy Reach’s shot was deflected wide and Garner’s 20-yard effort just fizzed wide of the left post.

Garner was sent off for a high footed challenge in the 20th minute. Wolves player Batth went to head the ball away in his own half but as he went to head it Garner tried to get the ball with his foot and after the two players clattered to the floor the referee showed Garner a straight red.

But the red card did not halter PNE’s progress as they did not take their foot off the gas and kept pressing Wolves.

Reach’s set-piece trickled through the box landed at the feet of Clarke but the captain smashed the ball wide.

Left back Greg Cunningham sprinted towards goal and danced past two Wolves players before he was fouled by Dominic Iorfa. Iorfa was booked for the challenge but PNE could not hit the target from the subsequent set-piece.Johnson slipped the ball to Keane and the striker smashed the ball into the wall.

Wolves made a lively start to the second half as they pushed bodies forward.

Jed Wallace stung Pickford’s palms with a fierce effort in the 56th minute.

Substitute Adam Le Fondre tried to chip Pickford but lofted the ball way wide of the left post and he nearly stole in moments later as he beat the offside trap and looked set to fire home but the ball bounced awkwardly and Pickford claimed the ball.

John Welsh was booked for a late challenge and Wright was also booked in the 77th minute as Le Fondre went down just outside the PNE box.

Referee Trevor Kettle’s decisions continued to cause grumbles and anger from the crowd.

And the chants of ‘You don’t know what you’re doing’ blasted out of Deepdale as Wright was booked again for a foul on Iorfa who was advancing from defence in the 81st minute. Referee Kettle showed Wright the red seconds later but North End continued to defend their hearts out as captain Clarke did his utmost to keep Wolves at bay.

Browne tried his luck from distance after substitute Hugill nodded the ball into his path but his strike flew wide of goal.

McDonald was booked and so too was PNE keeper Pickford as the game headed to the close..

Pickford made another fantastic stop to tip Batth’s header away from goal in the 89th minute.

But Wolves finally bagged an equaliser in the 91st minute as McDonald picked the ball up on the edge of the box and fired the ball into the top right corner.

PNE: Pickford, Woods, Clarke, Wright, Cunningham, Reach, Welsh, Browne, Johnson (Humphrey, 76) Keane (Hugill, 65) Garner. Subs not used: Vermijl, Humphrey, Kilkenny, Doyle, May, Kirkland.

Wolves: Martinez, Iorfa, Batth, Hause, Golbourne, Henry (Byrne, 63) McDonald, Price, La Parra (Le Fondre, 46) Wallace (Ojo, 63) Afobe. Subs not used: Doherty, Saville, Ebanks-Landell, Ikeme.

Referee: Trevor Kettle (Rutland)

Attendance:13,049 (2,477 away)