GRAYSON WILL TAKE A POINT
DESPITE Shaun Williams’ late leveller for MK Dons, Preston boss Simon Grayson was far from distraught with a point at Deepdale.
Preston looked ravenous from the beginning and they earned the lead through an Antony Kay owngoal, before Jason Banton scored a wonder-strike for MK Dons.
Joe Garner reclaimed the advantage for the hosts after Jon Otsemobor’s defensive lapse, but Williams’ cool penalty earned a point for the visitors with 23 minutes remaining.
The Lilywhites scored and conceded their first two goals of the League One campaign, but manager Grayson never doubted his team’s scoring abilities.
“It hasn’t been a concern, because we've been creating chances and we've looked quite sharp in training,” he said.
“Obviously, we haven’t taken our opportunities in the last few games for several reasons, but it is good to score two goals.
“Joe Garner took his opportunity very well and it is like a monkey off his back with the first goal.
“I thought defensively as a team, we were a little too open and we didn’t solve problems as quickly as we should have done.
“With their first goal, one of our players should have come out faster. And with the penalty, we should have just stayed with the runner.”
Preston broke the deadlock in the tenth minute after Kay diverted Chris Humphrey’s devilish low cross into his own net.
Veteran striker Kevin Davies looked to score his first for the Lilywhites in the 15th minute, but goalkeeper David Martin parried his rasping drive.
MK Dons equalised shortly after the half-hour mark, as the dangerous Banton cut inside and whipped a delightful long-range curler into the top corner.
But Grayson’s side quickly recovered their lead after centreback Otsemobor’s back-pass gifted Garner the opportunity to slide the ball beyond Martin.
Garner and Davies showed an excellent relationship throughout the match and the former teed up the striker, who bulleted his effort wide in the 50th minute.
The Dons were awarded a penalty in the 63rd minute after Humphrey caught substitute Samir Carruthers and Williams coolly converted from the spot.
Despite the two errors, which resulted in two concessions, Dons manager Karl Robinson refused to point the finger.
“It was a good game to watch and I thought we deserved more than we got,” he added.
“To come to Preston North End and put on a performance is a statement of intent from the players.The travelling fans witnessed a young and very energetic MK Dons side.
“The two goals we conceded were frustrating, but we are humans.With the first, we may have dithered on it.
“At that time, I thought we were the better team and the goal came against the run of play.
“However, we fought ourselves back to 2-2 against one of the best defences in the league and that is pleasing - there’s plenty more hard work needed though.”