PNE star Laird left frustrated by goalkeeper’s great save

Scott Laird
Scott Laird
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  • Fleetwood goalkeeper’s heroics deny North End
  • David Ball’s equaliser cancels out Daniel Johnson’s opener
  • Preston go four points clear of third-placed Swindon in League One
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PNE wing-back Scott Laird praised Fleetwood’s Chris Maxwell despite the fact that the keeper’s stellar save snatched £1 away from his piggy bank.

Maxwell somehow managed to divert Laird’s thunderous 34th minute angled left-footed strike over the bar and prevent North End from building on Daniel Johnson’s ninth minute opener.

I caught it sweet as a nut on the half volley but what a save.

The Cod Army shot-stopper also thwarted Jermaine Beckford who stole in unmarked at the back post just before the break.

Laird famously received £1 off his grandma Pat Smith for scoring in North End’s 3-1 FA Cup defeat to Premier League giants Manchester United in February.

The 26-year-old gets a quid off his grandma every time he ripples the back of the net and Laird believes that save did not just stop him bagging another pound, but Maxwell’s performance saved Fleetwood from defeat as the Cod Army held North End to a 1-1 draw at Highbury.

He said: “I caught it sweet as a nut on the half volley but what a save.

“Ultimately I think Maxwell making that save and the one from Jermaine Beckford has probably won the point for them.”

North End are still second in the League One table and unbeaten in their last 11 league matches.

But after back-to-back 1-1 results, Laird said draws are not enough to seal promotion.

He said: “It is another point and we are unbeaten again.

“We can’t keep saying we are unbeaten but keep drawing. We have got to keep putting wins on the board and not be like ‘oh we are unbeaten but we have drawn five’. That is not going to get us automatic promotion.

“We need to remain unbeaten but keep posting wins, getting three points and putting the pressure on the teams around us.”

Laird’s fellow defender Paul Huntington was stretchered off wearing a neck brace and requiring an oxygen mask in the second half.

After an eight minute delay Fleetwood substitute David Ball levelled the score in sensational fashion with a stylish 25-yard chip. But Laird refused to use Huntington’s injury as an excuse.

He said: “It was hard because we see Paul every day, we train with him every day and we are all really good friends.

“It is not nice to see one of your good friends lying down like that with an oxygen mask on. But he is well, he was back in the changing room after the match.

“We can’t use that as an excuse to concede the goal.

“It was a great goal, there is nothing you can do about that. There is no doubt he meant to do that. I know David and he has got that in his locker.”

Former PNE legend and Fleetwood boss Graham Alexander’s men could have dented his old club’s promotion push as they had several opportunities to steal the points in the 12 minutes of stoppage time.

But Laird believes North End should have put the game to bed in the first 45 minutes.

He said: “I thought it felt comfortable, I thought we did enough.

“We could have got ourselves out of sight and made it a lot easier.

“We just didn’t put the ball in the back of the net (after the first goal).

“I can’t really put my finger on it. I think we just started to sit a bit deeper and they had one shot on target and scored.”