Match report: Brighton 2 PNE 2

A stoppage-time equaliser from substitute Simon Makienok earned Preston North End a draw against Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium.

Saturday, 15th October 2016, 2:05 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 8:35 pm
Brighton v PNE

Makienok rose to met a cross from fellow sub Paul Gallagher in the 92nd minute and steered a header across Albion goalkeeper David Stockdale into the far corner.

It earned them an unlikely draw, unlikely in the sense that they had to play the closing stages with 10 men after injury had forced John Welsh out of the action - North End had already used their three permitted subs.

Jordan Hugill had capitalised on a Stockdale mistake in the 10th minute to put PNE in front, netting his fifth goal of the season.

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After that it was Brighton who had the better of the game and it came as little surprise when Sam Baldock equalised nine minutes into the second half.

Glenn Murray then put the home side into the lead in the 65th minute and a tough task lay ahead of Preston to get back into the game, one which became harder when Welsh limped off.

Time almost stood still though, when Makienok got his head to Gallagher's cross and watched it go into the far corner.

Tommy Spurr, Chris Humphrey and Paul Huntington had come into the starting XI, with Greg Cunningham, Aiden McGeady and Bailey Wright dropping out.

Spurr took the place of the suspended Cunningham at left wing-back, Humphrey taking over from McGeady on the right after the Republic of Ireland international suffered a hamstring strain in the latter stages of the victory over Aston Villa a fortnight ago.

Huntington came in for Wright who had only rejoined the squad on Friday after being on international duty with Australia.

The formation was set to switch to a 3-5-2, with Huntington having Alex Baptiste and skipper Tom Clarke for company in the back three.

North End had some early pressure to defend again, Jamie Murphy lifting a shot over the bar from the edge of the box after Bruno Saltor's low cross had found him.

But they soon found their feet and took the lead in the 10th minute, it very much coming gift-wrapped from their hosts.

Bruno's back pass was not an easy one to deal with for goalkeeper Stockdale, his attempt to control it with his chest going all wrong, the ball bouncing to Hugill who was closing down.

Hugill showed a calm head to shift the ball inside on to his right foot and lift a shot into the net over defender Lewis Dunk who was back trying to cover on the line.

Brighton went looking for a quick equaliser, Oliver Norwood's cross from the right headed wide by Dunk from close range.

The whole stadium rose for a minute's applause in the 15th minute to remember 15-year-old North End supporter Dylan Crossey who tragically lost his life last weekend in a road traffic accident.

His photograph was displayed on the ground's two big screens, both sets of fans united in remembering Dylan.

Seagulls front man Murray sprung the offside trap down the inside-left channel, his shot which was taken early, hitting the foot of PNE goalkeeper Chris Maxwell who had quickly come to the edge of the box.

A decent chance fell Preston's way in the 25th minute, Ben Pearson's corner cleared as far as Welsh on the edge of the box, the midfielder's right-foot drive clearing the bar by a matter of inches.

Just before the interval, a Murphy through ball played in Murray down the right hand side of the box, his shot hitting the side-netting.

The home side started the second half strongly, Anthony Knockaert and Murphy both having chances before an equaliser arrived in the 54th minute.

Norwood swept a pass from the middle of the pitch out to the right-wing which Bruno chased and met, his low cross finished by Baldock back across Maxwell from six yards.

Preston had switched system to 4-1-4-1 by then, Clarke moving to right-back, leaving Huntington and Baptiste in the middle with Spurr at left-back.

The scoreline swung in Brighton's favour in the 65th minute as the home side went in front.

Murphy threaded a pass into the PNE box to find Murray, the striker turning Baptiste before tucking a shot past Maxwell.

Gallagher and Ben Pringle joined the action from the bench with 70 minutes played, replacing Humphrey and Callum Robinson.

Later, Makienok was introduced as the final roll of the dice as far as substitutions were concerned, the striker replacing Daniel Johnson.

In the 86th minute, Welsh pulled up with what looked like a calf strain in his right leg and with all the subs used, North End had to play on with 10 men.

Almost from nowhere, the 10 men grabbed an equaliser in the second minute of stoppage-time.

Gallagher got possession in midfield and lifted the ball into the box, Makienok getting above two defenders and guiding a header across the flat-footed Stockdale into the far corner.

It sparked wild celebrations among the 575 travelling Preston fans who were at that end of the ground and had a great view of the ball hitting the net.

After the re-start, Brighton did get the ball in the PNE net but only after Maxwell had been knocked to the floor with a Nat Lofthouse-style challenge - referee Craig Pawson disallowed it and the visitors went on to see out time.

Brighton: Stockdale, Bruno, Duffy, Dunk, Bong, Knockaert, Sidwell, Norwood, Murphy, Murray, Baldock (Stephens 81). Subs (not used): Goldson, Pocognoli, Ince, Skalak, Manu, Maenpaa

PNE: Maxwell, Clarke, Huntington, Baptiste, Humphrey (Pringle 70), Welsh, Pearson, Johnson (Makienok 78), Spurr, Robinson (Gallagher 70), Hugill. Subs (not used): Wright, Browne, Doyle, Lindegaard

Referee: Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire)

Attendance: 27,606 (575 PNE)