Fans’ Panel’s John Roper says tiredness was a factor for Preston North End

Emil Riis managed to spare PNE’s blushes with a 95th-minute equaliser against Bristol City after the Lilywhites had put in a well below-par performance.

By John Roper
Sunday, 30th January 2022, 12:30 pm

The Robins had taken the lead early in the game through Chris Martin and generally dominated a first half with Ryan Lowe’s boys well off the pace. Riis put North End level early in the second half and at that point all three results looked possible. The visitors certainly looked the more likely as the game went on and with 10 minutes to go they regained the lead with a well-worked goal down the left flank. North End looked tired and pretty much down and out until McCann put Potts away down the right-hand side and the wing back crossed the ball for Riis to hit an acrobatic volley into the Bristol net to give North End a point that their general performance on the day had barely deserved. Lowe made one change to the side that won at West Brom on Wednesday evening with Cameron Archer coming in to replace Ched Evans as Emil Riis’ partner in attack. Bristol were quicker out of the blocks and on 12 minutes they took the lead. Weimann fed Martin and the much-travelled striker shot through a couple of players and into the far corner of Daniel Iversen’s goal.

North End tried to rally but we weren’t winning the battle in midfield and I thought our general tackling on the day was poor.

Lowe made two changes at half time, with Josh Earl coming on for Greg Cunningham down the left-hand side and Ali McCann replacing Ryan Ledson in the centre of the Park.

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North End’s Andrew Hughes battles with Bristol City’s Antoine Semenyo

It took North End just seven minutes to level the scores when a stinging shot from Archer was parried by the Bristol keeper, only for Riis to follow up and put the ball in the net. City looked to have taken all three points when Massengo put Semenyo in and he made no mistake smashing the ball past Iversen at his near post.

It looked like it was going to be Lowe’s first home defeat before McCann won the ball on the edge of his own box. He then put Potts away down the right , who crossed into a crowded penalty area for Riis to fire home a stunning equaliser with time virtually up.

Deepdale exploded with the goal but I have to say I think it was a point won rather than two points lost.

Probably a disappointing result on the face of it against a team we were expecting to beat, after all the high jinx in the West Midlands on Wednesday evening. However, such is the Championship that there are no easy games and this was just one of those matches that proves the point.

This was North End’s fifth game in 15 days and while I am not making excuses for them being tired I think it is a factor that needs to be taken into consideration.

There will be little time to reflect as PNE hit the road again, twice, in the coming seven days with a trip to South East London on Tuesday evening to face Millwall before a cross country trip to Humberside next Saturday afternoon to face Hull.