PNE 1 Notts County 1
Preston North End were left frustrated at Deepdale as they were forced to settle for a draw against Notts County on the opening day of the season
Despite dominating the opening period, North End were unable to find a way past Roy Carroll in the visitors’ goal and went in at the interval 0-0.
Carroll thwarted Josh Brownhill, Paul Gallagher and Joe Garner with some excellent saves.
And when PNE finally managed to get the ball past the former Manchester United stopper, the crossbar came to the Magpies’ rescue.
Alan Browne header from Gallagher’s centre crashed against the woodwork.
However, Jake Cassidy shocked the home fans shortly after half-time when he beat new PNE goalkeeper Jamie Jones at the near post with an angled drive in the 51st minute.
The goal knocked the stuffing out of North End and they were not nearly as dangerous going forward in the second half.
But they kept going and got their reward in the dying moments of the match when Will Hayhurst won a throw in down the left.
He immediately delivered the ball to Brownhill, who played the ball into the box for fellow teen Browne.
The Irishman picked out Garner on the edge of the box, who controlled and blasted the ball into the top corner.
After the match Grayson said: “It’s a frustrating afternoon for us. I thought first half we played well, we passed it around really well and created some good chances.
“One or two things didn’t quite fall for us.
“Their goalkeeper Roy Carroll was in inspired form and by the time half-time came around, the game could quite easily have been over.
“I was very pleased at half-time, but what they did was get the early goal second half and it gave them seomething to hang on to.
“But we hung in there and losing the first game of the season is something you don’t really want to do.
“Joe Garner got the equaliser and if you can’t win the game, then drawing is the next best thing.”