Three points for Preston only thing missing from Paul Gallagher's 500th appearance

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Paul Gallagher admitted the only thing missing from his 500th professional appearance was Preston North End picking up three points against Barnsley.

Alex Neil’s side did enough for victory at Deepdale on Saturday but had to settle for a point after Brad Potts cancelled out Sean Maguire’s first PNE goal in the 1-1 draw.

For Gallagher, who turned 33 on Thursday, it was a milestone day, his senior debut having come as an 18-year-old for Blackburn back in March 2003.

“I was aware of the milestone before the game,” said the midfielder, who was making his 194th North End appearance.

“To play 500 games is a great achievement and to top it off with three points would have been even better.

“Hopefully there’s a few more left. I want to try and get as far as I can.”

Paul Gallagher battles with Brad Potts.

Paul Gallagher battles with Brad Potts.

Gallagher was also making his comeback after a bang on the head in the defeat at Derby County on August 15 left him with concussion.

The lack of recent game time meant he was replaced for the final 20 minutes by John Welsh, himself playing for the first time in nearly 11 months after injuring his calf last October at Brighton.

“The manager probably made the right decision in bringing me off,” Gallagher said.

“He knows I haven’t played a lot of football.

“It’s about getting the legs back and getting your fitness up.

“It’s brilliant to see John back.

“He’s worked so hard in the gym and with the physios.

“He’s had a few setbacks but one thing with John he’s mentally strong.

“When he came on you could see with his big studs he was ready to go to war.”

There was frustration at full time that the Lilywhites hadn’t come away with victory.

Maguire opened his account in the 23rd minute, heading home Tom Barkhuizen’s cross, only to see Potts level things up with a little bit of fortune shortly after.

North End then had the better of the play but couldn’t find a way through.

“You could see the amount of effort we put in but it was one of those days where the ball just wouldn’t break for us,” Gallagher said.

“When we got the goal I thought we’d settle down but for them to come back so soon was disappointing.

“We rolled our sleeves up and went again but we just couldn’t get that second.”