Preston North End manager Alex Neil left frustrated by the draw with Stoke City

Preston North End boss Alex Neil admitted to a sense of frustration after his side's 2-2 draw with Stoke City at Deepdale.

Saturday, 18th August 2018, 11:10 pm
Updated Sunday, 19th August 2018, 12:15 am
PNE manager Alex Neil

Twice North End led at Deepdale but twice they let in the Potters for equalisers, both goals very avoidable in Neil's view.

Neil said: "I probably feel a little bit of frustration.

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PNE manager Alex Neil

"When you take the lead twice in a game you will always be frustrated that you don't win.

"We were against a team just down from the Premier League who arguably have a Premier League squad and throughout the 90 minutes I thought we were the better side.

"But we conceded two disappointing goals from our point of view.

"For the first one Darnell Fisher probably has to head it back and Graham Burke has to match his runner which he didn't do.

Ben Pearson takes on Stoke's Joe Allen

"Our response was excellent, we went and got a goal before half-time.

"Then I think their second goal was a bit fortunate, the ball came in, Peter Crouch turns his back and hits his back and goes into the back of the net.

"All in all we had the better of the ball and the better of the chances, so we are disappointed we didn't get three points."

Paul Gallagher gave North End a 40th minute lead from the penalty spot, Erik Pieters equalising within two minutes.

Ryan Ledson shakes hands at the final whistle

Graham Burke restored the advantage at the end of first-half stoppage-time, Crouch getting the second equaliser in the 61st minute.

Gallagher might consider himself fortunate to have been on the pitch beyond the mid-way point in the first half when he caught Joe Allen with an elbow in the face, the incident missed by the referee.

Neil said: "At the time I didn't see it but I have seen it since.

"He does catch him, hence the reason why Joe has got a wee mark on his nose.

"But you know Paul Gallagher better than me, you have watched him for years and years here.

"He has never put in a dirty tackle in my whole time working with him.

"Gally said at half time 'I did catch him gaffer, I didn't mean it. I put my hand up to protect myself and as he turned I have caught him in the side of the face'.

"People will have a look at it and make their own judgement but I know the character of Paul Gallagher and know he won't go out with the intention of hurting anyone."