Match report: PNE 2 West Ham 2

Preston North End twice came from behind to earn a draw against West Ham United at Deepdale.

Saturday, 21st July 2018, 5:02 pm
Updated Saturday, 21st July 2018, 6:12 pm
Tom Clarke heads home for PNE in the first half

Tom Clarke and Billy Bodin were on target for the Lilywhites in a well-contested pre-season friendly which provided plenty of entertainment.

PNE goalkeeper Chris Maxwell saved a penalty from Mark Noble during the second half and then in the closing stages, fingertipped a Toni Martinez header up against the bar.

Both of the Hammers' goals came from Marko Arnautovic, the Austrian giving them an early lead lead after the North End defence were caught out by a quickly-taken Noble free-kick.

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Alan Browne challenges Mark Noble at Deepdale

Skipper Clarke headed North End level in the 40th minute but Arnautovic restored the Premier League side's advantage on the stroke of half-time.

Bodin, on as a substitute, levelled 13 minutes from time with a well-taken finish from Andrew Hughes' cross.

Six PNE players got through 90 minutes as the pre-season build-up took a step-up but injuries to Ben Pearson and Tom Barkhuizen will be a concern.

Pearson got a bang on the head early on, while Barkhuizen departed with a gashed leg.

PNE boss Alex Neil

The Hammers took a seventh minute lead after a bright opening, Noble's quickly taken free-kick catching the North End defence cold and finding the unattended Arnautovic in the box who slotted home a calm finish.

Play was delayed when Pearson was sent sprawling in a midfield clash and needed lengthy attention on the pitch.

He managed to play on briefly, in that time feeding a pass out to Darnell Fisher on the right-wing, Fisher's cross finding Louis Moult in the middle who sent a diving header just over the bar.

Pearson succumb to the knock in the 20th minute and was replaced by Ryan Ledson who with his first touch drove a 20-yard shot over the bar.

Josh Earl, back after missing the AFC Fylde and Cobh Ramblers friendlies, put over a fine cross in the 23rd minute which was finding its way to Moult until Declan Rice slid across and blocked at the expense of a corner.

North End equalised in the 40th minute, Paul Gallagher's ball from the right met by Clarke, the skipper twisting to send a back header over Hammers goalkeeper Adrian from eight yards.

But they were level for only five minutes as the visitors regained the lead in the 45th minute.

West Ham counter-attacked from their own half, the ball fed to Andriy Yarmolenko on the right.

Yarmolenko came inside and his pass found Arnautovic with his back to goal 15 yards out, the striker turning Clarke to shoot into the far bottom corner.

Half-time substitute Sead Haksabanovic had a chance to stretch the Hammers' lead in the early moments of the second after getting space down the right channel but he dragged his shot across goal and wide of the far post.

An Alan Browne header dropped inches wide of the post in the 50th minute while at the other end, Arnautovic's free-kick from 25 yards was gathered by Maxwell.

Three good chances fell Preston's way in the space of a couple minutes leading to the hour mark.

Good persistence from Barkhuizen saw him squeeze between two defenders to get a shot away from the edge of the box, Adrian diving to push it behind.

In the 58th minute, Moult's back heel found Browne 20 yards out, the Irishman's first-time shot forcing a superb one-handed save from the keeper.

North End's next attack saw Daryl Horgan feed a low cross in from the right to find Moult, the striker lifting a first-time shot over the bar.

Maxwell came to the home side's rescue in the 62nd minute when Earl got the wrong side of Ryan Fredericks in the box and brought him down as he tried to recover.

Referee Ben Toner pointed to the spot, Noble taking the penalty but seeing Maxwell go to his left to save well at the foot of the post.

Clarke had the ball in the net in the 71st minute after PNE had kept the ball alive well following a free-kick, but the flag went up for offside against the skipper.

But six minutes later they were level through substitute Bodin.

Fellow sub Hughes did the spadework on the left, beating his man and putting a fine cross field pass into the box to find Bodin.

The No.39 brought it down well, took a touch before beating Adrian with a shot at the near post.

Both sides went close to a winner in the closing few minutes.

In the 87th minute a cross from Snodgrass found substitute Martinez in the middle, his header tipped against the bar by Maxwell.

Two minutes later, Ledson put in a tackle which saw the ball run into the path of Bodin in the box, the winger's low shot beating Adrian but going inches wide of the far post.

PNE: Maxwell, Fisher, Clarke, Davies, Earl (Hughes 65), Pearson (Ledson 20), Gallagher (Harrop 77), Horgan, Browne, Barkhuizen (Bodin 66), Moult (Maguire 77). Subs (not used): Rudd, Robinson, Johnson, Storey, Woods, Burke, Huntington.

West Ham: Adrian, Fredericks, Diop (Ogbonna 79), Rice, Obiang, Noble, Wilshere (Haksabanovic 46), Snodgrass, Yarmolenko (Holland 65), Masuaku (Zabaletta 79), Arnautovic (Martinez 74). Subs (not used): Trott, McCullen, Samuelsen, Coventry.

Referee: Ben Toner (Lancashire)

Attendance: 5,960 (940 away)