Accrington Stanley 1 Preston North End 1 match report: Trialist Jamie Thomas scores in PNE's pre-season clash
Preston North End drew against Accrington Stanley at the Wham Stadium, with trialist Jamie Thomas on target for the Lilywhites.
Thomas, who signed for Bamber Bridge in the summer and scored twice against PNE a fortnight ago in a friendly, headed the Lilywhites in front early in the second half after coming on as a half-time substitute.
Accrington equalised in the 67th minute, Joe Pritchard volleying home from a Jack Nolan cross.
North End weren't at their best by a long chalk, lacking creativity going forward.
In the closing stages they were indebted to Declan Rudd who produced three fine saves from Stanley substitute Joel Mumbongo.
With a fortnight to go until the start of the season, Frankie McAvoy's men certainly need more of an edge about them and hopefully the forthcoming games against Manchester City, Wigan and Manchester United can help them do that.
North End started in their usual 3-5-2 system, Jordan Stoeyw, Liam Lindsay and Andrew Hughes starting at the back, with Ben Whiteman, Ryan Ledson and Alan Browne in midfield.
It was Browne's first action of pre-season having been nursing a long-standing hip injury. The skipper got 45 minutes on his return.
Emil Riis and Sean Maguire started up front, Ched Evans missing from the squad.
Maguire had the game's first chance, a first-time shot from 20 yards which flew well wide of the target.
PNE won a 13th minute free-kick a yard to the side of the box, Ledson whipping it right-footed towards goal which Stanley keeper James Trafford tipped over the bar.
The visitors struggled in terms of creativity, choosing to play a lot of passes down the channels for Maguire and Riis to chase.
At the other end, Colby Bishop shot wide after Liam Lindsay was caught in possession and then Matt Butcher's low shot from the edge of the box went straight at Declan Rudd who gathered comfortably.
Ledson was booked for a high challenge on Pritchard, one which in a league game might have led to a sterner punishment,.
Tom Barkhuizen lifted a shot high over the bar from just inside the box after Ledson and Cunningham had linked well.
Just before the interval, Ledson's free-kick from the right was met by Lindsay who sent a header just over the bar.
North End brought on Brad Potts and Thomas for the start of the second half, Browne and Maguire going off,
Thomas took less than seven minutes to break the deadlock, getting to Barkhuizen's right-wing cross ahead of sub keeper Toby Savin to head into the net.
Accrington went close10 minutes later as Burnley loanee Mumbongo got behind the PNE defence on the right hand side of the box.
His low shot from a narrow angle travelled across goal and beyond the far post, running out of play on the far side.
The home side equalised in the 67th minute, Jack Nolan's cross from the left met by Pritchard who volleyed past Rudd from 10 yards.
Rudd came to PNE's rescue 13 minutes from time, saving to point blank range to push out Mumbongo's shot at point blank range.
He was at it again in the 85th minute, substitute Joe Rafferty's loose touch falling to Mumbongo in the box, Rudd off his line quickly to block his shot.
Mumbongo was denied by Rudd a third time in stoppage-time, Rudd diving to his right to push the striker's header behind after he'd got on the end of a free-kick.
Accrington: Trafford (Savin 46), Sykes (Perritt 86), Nottingham, Burgess, O'Sullivan (Rodgers 63), Pell (Morgan 54), Butcher (Leigh 67), Pritchard (Fenlon 67), McConville( Nolan 54), Bishop (Mumbongo 50), Charles (Scully 67).
PNE: Rudd, Storey (Bauer 71), Lindsay (Van den Berg 71), Hughes (Earl 71), Barkhuizen (Rafferty 71), Ledson (Bayliss 71), Whiteman (Leigh 71), Browne (Potts 46), Cunningham (Harrop 71), Maguire (Thomas 46), Riis (SInclair 71). Subs (not used): Walker, Seary, Mawene, Rodwell-Grant, Hudson.
Referee: Jeremy Simpson (Carnforth)
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