Misfires cost us says PNE youngster

Josh Brownhill gets free, watched by ex-PNE man Nicky Wroe and Alan Smith
Josh Brownhill gets free, watched by ex-PNE man Nicky Wroe and Alan Smith
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Preston North End midfielder Josh Brownhill rued his team’s inability to make their first-half dominance count against Notts County at Deepdale.

PNE had to settle for a point on the opening day of the season as Joe Garner’s late equaliser cancelled out Jake Cassidy’s opener for the Magpies seven minutes after the break.

In the end the home side were happy to earn a draw, especially as it looked like they were heading for defeat with only a minute of normal time remaining.

While Garner’s strike was met with relief around Deepdale, there was an overriding sense of frustration that they had not managed to find a way past visiting goalkeeper Roy Carroll in the opening 45 minutes.

Chance after chance went begging, and North End ended up paying for their profligacy when County snatched the lead.

Brownhill said: “We started off well and got into the game quickly. We had so many chances but they didn’t go in.

“We hit the bar, we shot just wide, we had a goal disallowed. I think if we had got the first goal of the game then it would have been a completely different game.

“We were really happy with our first-half performance.

“I think we had something like 70% possession. We were pleased to create so many chances – maybe on a another day they all go in.”

“We could have ended up with four or five, such was our domination but they got the first goal just after half-time and it changed the game completely.

“It was a sloppy goal to concede and it built their confidence up. We knew that we would get another chance somewhere along the line and we just had to take that chance. Thankfully Joe Garner did.

“It was a good goal from our point of view.

“We pressed them high. Will Hayhurst did well – he chased a lost cause and won us the throw-in in the corner.

“There was a little bit of link-up play between me and Alan. He set up Garns and it was a great finish, I had no doubts he was going to score.

“He showed that last season with the amount of goals he got. When he gets in those positions, he’s always going to score.”

Brownhill, who is aged just 18, admitted the game was good for his own football education as he came up against seasoned professionals like Gary Jones and Hayden Mullins, who are twice his age.

The visitors tried every spoiling tactic in the book and Brownhill felt the referee David Webb could have been a little stronger.

“I think a lot of teams will come here and try to frustrate us this season because they know how good we are with the ball,” Brownhill said.

“But they tried to kill the game off and it kind of happened.

“Every single one of them was going down with a head injury or something else, the referee didn’t really help us in that regard.”