Match report: Bury 3 PNE 2

Bury v PNE
Bury v PNE
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Preston North End’s pre-season friendly programme ended with them being beaten by Bury at Gigg Lane.

A competitive contest, played for the large part in heavy rain, was their final game before the Championship opener against Middlesbrough.

PNE striker Will Keane in action at Gigg Lane

PNE striker Will Keane in action at Gigg Lane

The Shakers went in front early on, midfielder Tom Soares netting from close range.

Joe Garner equalised soon after, driving a low shot into the net after being found by Paul Gallagher’s searching pass.

North End then took the lead through Will Keane’s third goal of the pre-season, an advantage they carried into the interval.

Two goals in 13 minutes late in the second half turned the match in favour of David Flitcroft’s Bury side.

Leon Clarke, a one-time Preston loan player, fired home a 67th minute equaliser, then substitute Andrew Tutte scored from the penalty spot 10 minutes from time after Neil Kilkenny had tugged the shirt of Jacob Mellis.

PNE boss Simon Grayson had made five changes to the side which lost at Carlisle in midweek

Jordan Pickford made his debut between the posts after joining on loan from Sunderland on Friday night.

Garner, Gallagher, Daniel Johnson and Paul Huntington returned to the side as North End started in a 4-3-3 system.

It was Bury who made the livelier start on a very wet pitch and their early play was rewarded by an 11th minute opener.

Bailey Wright did well to get his head to a cross and partly clear but Clarke got to the second ball and teed up Soares who shot past Pickford from six yards.

Preston, wearing their new yellow and blue away kit, were level within three minutes.

Kilkenny’s pass found Gallagher on the left, his diagonal ball across field picking-out Garner down the side of the box.

Garner cut inside on to his left foot and drilled a low shot between wrong-footed Shakers keeper Christian Walton and the near post.

Buoyed by the equaliser, North End went on to enjoy the better of the first-half play.

A couple of good free-kick deliveries from Gallagher saw the visitors twice go close.

The first, from the inside-right channel, was flicked on by Garner, Greg Cunningham arriving late at the far post putting it over.

From a similar position, a second delivery was arrowed over to Garner who jumped to send a header inches side of the far post.

Just beyond the half-hour mark, PNE took the lead, Gallagher’s cross from the left fumbled by Walton under pressure by Garner.

As the Bury keeper appealed for a foul, Johnson squared a pass into the path of Keane who found the net with a low shot from 12 yards.

The opening stages of the second half saw little goalmouth action of note, the game developing into something of a midfield battle.

That changed in the 67th minute though, Tom Pope threading a pass through the Preston defence for Clarke to slide a shot on the half turn past Pickford for the equaliser.

Almost straight away, North End could have regained the lead, Gallagher’s corner travelling to the back post where Cunningham nodded wide.

Pickford made a fine save in the 73rd minute, diving to push away a well-struck shot from Clarke who had got the better of Cunningham down the side of PNE’s box.

The visitors made their first substitution in the 74th minute, Jordan Hugill replacing Garner up front.

North End conceded a third penalty in two games 10 minutes from time, Kilkenny judged to have pulled the shirt of substitute Mellis as they competed for a cross.

Tutte drove the spot kick low and hard into the bottom right-hand corner past Pickford who had guessed the right way to give the Shakers their win.

Bury: Walton, Riley (Jones 46), Clarke (Sedgwick 89), Cameron, Pugh, Mayor (Mellis 67), Soares, Furman (Tutte 52), Etuhu (Brown 76), Pope (Hope 67), Clarke (Nardiello 80). Unused sub: Lainton.

PNE: Pickford, Smith, Wright, Huntington, Cunningham, Kilkenny, Welsh, Johnson, Gallagher, Garner (Hugill 74), Keane. Unused subs: Browne, Reid, Little, Davies, Brownhill, Anderton, Jones.

Referee: Darren Handley (Bolton)

Attendance: 1,307 (366 PNE)