Preston North End 1 Swansea City 1 - match report from Deepdale where PNE hit back to claim a draw and finish with 10 men

Daniel Johnson's penalty earned 10-man Preston North End a point against Swansea City at Deepdale.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 12th January 2019, 4:12 pm
Updated Saturday, 12th January 2019, 5:54 pm
Daniel Johnson celebrates scoring Preston's equaliser from the penalty spot against Swansea at Deepdale
Daniel Johnson celebrates scoring Preston's equaliser from the penalty spot against Swansea at Deepdale

The Lilywhites had fallen behind in the 55th minute to a close-range finish from Courtney Baker-Richardson.

But they were back in the game on the hour, a cross from debutante Jayden Stockley blocked by Connor Roberts with his arm.

The referee pointed to the spot and Johnson sent the keeper the wrong way.

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Brad Potts on his Preston debut against Swansea at Deepdale

North End had to see out the closing stages with 10 men after half-time substitute Josh Earl was sent-off for a second booking in the space of nine minutes.

They held firm to collect a point and arguably finished the stronger side as they put their visitors under late pressure.

As well as losing Earl to an early bath, defenders Paul Huntington and Tom Clarke both went off with injuries during the game.

Just as the attack was getting back to being fully stocked, the defence now looks something of a worry numbers-wise.

Preston skipper Tom Clarke challenges Swansea's Nathan Dyer

The inclusion of Stockley and fellow new signing Brad Potts were among six changes made to the North End side from the one beaten by Doncaster in the FA Cup.

On the bench was a third newcomer, goalkeeper Connor Ripley, with Declan Rudd getting the nod to start.

Potts played on the right side of a 4-2-3-1 system, Stockley leading the attack with Tom Barkhuizen playing from the left.

There was a return for Ben Pearson in midfield after a four-match suspension.

The first half was something of a non-event, the two teams operating similar formations which somewhat cancelled one another out.

An early touch from Stockley saw him trap the ball on his chest and play the ball down the wing for Barkhuizen to chase, while Potts was busy down the side of the pitch.

In the 15th minute, Potts won a free-kick just outside the 'D', one which Andrew Hughes lifted high over the bar.

Swansea's first sight of goal saw Leroy Fer run from deep to meet a ball slid down the right side of the box, the visiting skipper dragging his shot across goal and well wide.

Pearson chipped a ball into the Swansea box, Tom Clarke running to meet it and angling a header across goal which goalkeeper Erwin Mulder dived to cut-out.

Potts hit a stinging low shot from distance which struck Mulder on the legs and spun into the air, the keeper getting up to hold at the second attempt.

Six minutes before half-time, Bersant Celina's shot from the edge of the box clipped off Paul Huntington and forced Rudd to dive to his right to push away one-handed.

At the break, Huntington was replaced by Earl, presumably because of an injury - Hughes went into the centre of defence with Earl playing at left-back.

Swansea started the second half brightly and it was no surprise when they took the lead in the 55th minute.

Wayne Routledge skipped past a couple of challenges on a run out of midfield before slipping a pass down the left side of the box to play in Celina.

The Kosovo midfielder delivered a low first-time cross into the middle for Baker-Richardson to side-foot home from close range.

Within five minutes North End were handed - literally - by their visitors.

Stockley chased what looked a lost cause down the side of the box, lifting a cross into the middle which struck Roberts on the arm - the assistant on the Sir Tom Finney Stand side of the pitch flagging for a penalty which referee Keith Stroud subsequently awarded.

After quite a long delay Johnson did his normal stuttering run-up to the spot before rolling the penalty the wrong way past Mulder.

North End had two chances in a matter of seconds to take the lead in the 75th minute.

Sean Maguire, on the pitch for less than a minute as a substitute, was played behind the Swansea defence by Potts' pass.

The Irishman perhaps delayed his shot a touch too long, his low effort blocked by Mulder and rebounding out of the box into the path of Alan Browne - his powerful first-time drive again blocked by Mulder.

In the 81st minute North End were reduced to 10 men when substitute Earl was sent-off.

Booked nine minutes earlier for a foul on Nathan Dyer, Earl's sliding tackle on Mike Van Der Hoorn brought him a second yellow card followed by red.

Browne went to fill in at left-back and to be honest, the 10-men held on pretty comfortable - Swansea's best effort being a header from sub Wilfriend Bony which dropped wide.

It was Preston who finished on the front foot, Maguire firing over the bar and the hosts forced a corner deep into stoppage-time which unfortunately couldn't produce a goal.

PNE: Rudd, Clarke (Fisher 67), Storey, Huntington (Earl 46), Hughes, Pearson, Johnson (Maguire 74), Potts, Browne, Barkhuizen, Stockley. Subs (not used): Gallagher, Ledson, Nmecha, Ripley.

Swansea: Mulder, Naughton (McKay 89), Rodon, Van Der Hoorn, Roberts, Fer, Grimes, Dyer (Montero 83), Celina, Routledge, Baker-Richardson (Bony 74). Subs (not used): Carter-Vickes, James, Fulton, Nordfeldt.

Referee: Keith Stroud (Hampshire)

Attendance: 11,604 (517 away)