GRAYSON WILL TAKE A POINT

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Oliver Rhodes

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.”

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