Grayson frustrated with PNE draw

Simon Grayson applauds the North End fans at Fleetwood

Simon Grayson applauds the North End fans at Fleetwood

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Preston North End boss Simon Grayson admitted his side’s draw against Fleetwood Town at Highbury Stadium was a case of two points dropped.

The Lilywhites led for much of the contest through Daniel Johnson’s ninth-minute goal – a fine curling finish from 20 yards.

Paul Huntington had to be carried off on a stretcher with a head injury, play held up for eight minutes while he was treated on the pitch.

Within a couple of minutes of his departure, Fleetwood equalised with a superb chip from substitute David Ball.

Grayson said: “It is two points dropped, I’m sure of that.

“In the first half we played really well, passed it well and competed well.

“We created some good chances, Jermaine Beckford probably should have scored just before half-time which would have given us the luxury of a 2-0 lead.

“In the second half we didn’t play the conditions as well as we should have done.

“Fleetwood gathered some momentum and a bit of poor decision-making from us woke their crowd up and got them behind their team.

“Until then we had kept their fans quiet and it was our supporters making all the noise.

“It was a fantastic goal for their equaliser, a one in a hundred goal.

“Just before that, Tom Clarke had a good opportunity with a header from a corner.

“We didn’t do the basics as well as we should have done on the second half so we only ended-up with a point rather than three.”

Fleetwood boss Graham Alexander praised his players for their second-half performance but was critical of what they did in the first period.

Alexander, who made 421 appearances for North End in his career, “I think we showed them a little bit too much respect in the first half.

“I wasn’t happy with the display, and when you’re 1-0 down you don’t want to concede any more.

“I didn’t think we’d competed in the game as well as we should have, but second half we did that and nullified their threats up front.

“They responded magnificently which was great to see because I saw players playing with more determination and a smile on their face.

“When the stoppage in play happened we were just concerned that it might have taken the momentum away from us when we’d began to build.

“The players carried on where they left off before the break though and really took the game to Preston.

“On another day we could have got the winner.”