PNE boss frustrated by last-gasp strike

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Simon Grayson admits he was forced to bite his lip and not vent his full frustration as Preston North End were denied victory by a last-gasp Coventry equaliser.

North End looked home and dry thanks a Kevin Davies goal eight minutes into the second half of the Deepdale clash.

Kevin Davies scored against Coventry but was then sent off

Kevin Davies scored against Coventry but was then sent off

But with the game running into its 97th minute after only four minutes stoppage-time had initially been signalled, Sky Blues striker Franck Moussa netted a stunning leveller from more than 30 yards.

With that having been the visitors’ only effort on target of the contest after PNE had bossed the first hour, it was a bitter pill to swallow.

Lilywhites manager Grayson went to see referee Kevin Wright in the dressing room area once the dust had settled, to seek an explanation for the additional time on top of the four minutes signalled by the fourth official

Mindful of a fine and a touchline ban which the FA dished out to him earlier in the season for confronting a referee, Grayson kept a calmer head this time.

He said: “It cost me too much money last time and I got a ban so I had to watch myself.

“I went to see the referee to put my view across and I didn’t agree with what he told me.

“We know that refereeing is not an easy job but on many, many occasions, that game would have been over by the time Coventry scored.

“There are things we could analysis on the DVD to see how long it should have gone on for, but it’s gone now and we cannot do anything more.”

The explanation from Mr Wright was that two incidents had led to him playing more added-on time than the minimum four minutes indicated.

PNE made a substitution, bringing on Jack King for Paul Gallagher in the 92nd minute.

And the official took into account a time when the ball went out of play into the Sir Tom Finney Stand and was not returned quickly.

North End were down to 10 men by the time Moussa scored, Davies sent-off in the 88th minute for a two-footed challenge on Andy Webster.

With it being a straight red card the striker will receive a three-match ban, ruling him out of the games against Nottingham Forest, Bradford and Notts County.

Said Grayson: “It is how you interpret it these days. Kev has gone in for a tackle and the lad has nutmegged him.

“That made it look like he has gone in for a two-footed tackle, but myself and Steven Pressley at the time said it should have been a yellow card.”

The late drama aside, PNE’s performance had pleased their manager.

“We played well against a good team and made them looked ordinary.

“I told the players to remember the positives which happened in the game and somewhere during the course of the season there will be a scenario where we get an injury-time equaliser or winner.”