Match report: PNE 2 Doncaster 2

  • PNE reclaim second spot in the League One table after drawing 2-2 with Doncaster Rovers
  • Jermaine Beckford’s injury time strike saves PNE from a shock defeat.
  • Daniel Johnson opened the scoring for PNE but Doncaster fought back to go 2-1 up
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Super-sub Jermaine Beckford’s last gasp strike saved Preston North End from a shock defeat at the hands of Doncaster Rovers as they drew 2-2 at Deepdale.

PNE let a one goal lead slip and were facing defeat after Doncaster fought back in the last 10 minutes scoring twice in quick succession.

PNE v Doncaster

PNE v Doncaster

But Beckford pounced on Kevin Davies’ knock-down in the 94th minute and the striker was cool as ice with seconds to spare, nearly breaking the net with a fierce close range strike that flew past Rovers keeper Stephen Bywater.

Man-of-the moment Daniel Johnson rippled the back of the net for the fourth time in as many games in the 13th minute.

PNE sat back against a Doncaster side that blasted numerous efforts off target.

But the visitors finally rippled the back of the net with 10 minutes to go.

Substitute Harry Forrester equalised in the 81st minute and Curtis Main finally hit the target in the 85th minute.

The winger beat PNE captain Tom Clarke in the air and his header ballooned past former Doncaster keeper Sam Johnstone into the back of the net.

But Beckford popped up to save the day with seconds to spare and ensured PNE capitalised on the MK Dons defeat to reclaim second spot in the League One table.

The Dons lost 2-1 to Chesterfield at home and PNE’s promotion rivals Swindon also lost 3-0 to Gillingham at home so North End move back into the automatic promotion places.

Doncaster made a bright start. Main smashed the ball wide in the second minute and Abdul Razak stung former team mate PNE shot-stopper Johnstone’s palms moments later with a long range effort.

But the in-form Johnson bagged his fourth goal in as many games by fizzing a low shot into the right corner in the 13th minute.

PNE danger man Johnson’s sublime bit of footwork in the box allowed him to chip the ball into the path of Garner who headed the ball wide of the left hand post in the 36th minute.

Johnson attempted the spectacular in the 51st minute after a failed clearance by Rovers keeper Bywater fell at his feet. The former Aston Villa player spotted the shot-stopper off his line but the midfield maestro’s ambitious 40-yard strike flew into the crowd.

Garner was booked for a late challenge in the 53rd minute.

Doncaster upped the ante with 20 minutes to go and Johnstone was forced into action by Main. The former Doncaster shot-stopper managed to hold on to the winger’s fierce effort.

But seconds later super-sub Forrester equalised for Rovers. He drove into the box and fired through a crowd of bodies in the 81st minute.

Main - who wasted several opportunities throughout the night - finally got an effort on target after beating Clarke in the air. The winger latched on to Reece Wabara’s teasing cross and headed the ball past Johnstone in the 85th minute.

But the goal brought PNE back to life and Beckford popped up with seconds to spare to ensure North End bagged a point.

PNE: Johnstone, Clarke, Huntington, Wright, Laird, Humphrey, Welsh, Johnson, Gallagher (Kilkenny, 69), Robinson (Beckford, 86), Garner (K Davies, 79). Subs not used: Stuckmann, Wiseman, Reid, Ebanks-Blake.

Doncaster: Bywater, Furman (Coppinger, 65), Razak (Forrester, 57), Main, McCullough, Tyson, Butler, Stevens, Keegan (Ikpeazu, 71), Wellens, Wabara. Subs not used: McCombe, Robinson, Marosi, Bennett.

Referee: Dean Whitestone (Northamptonshire)

Attendance: 8,703 (333 away)