Five talking points from Preston North End's 1-1 draw with Swansea City at Deepdale
Preston North End’s draw with Swansea City at Deepdale made it four games unbeaten, with the headline moment being Scott Sinclair’s first goal for the Lilywhites.
Here are five of the talking points from the 1-1 draw from Saturday's Championship clash.
1. PNE’s Ben Pearson was at the top of his game against the Swans.
On his day, there are few better holding midfielders in the Championship and this game was an example of what he brings to the team.
While Pearson will never be an angel on the pitch, his discipline has improved this season and at times on Saturday he was more sinned against rather than being the sinner.
More than once you wondered whether Pearson would have got away with some of the things the visiting players did – notably the crude challenge on him by Rhian Brewster.
2. North End have scored some good goals this season and Scott Sinclair’s strike to give them the lead against Swansea could be added to that list.
His sweetly struck from just inside the box after a surging run had Deepdale on its feet.
Although the goal came against one of his former clubs, Sinclair chose to celebrate. But it was over to the Preston fans he went, with no disrespect shown to the 665 travelling Swans.
Take note Rhian Brewster who chose to celebrate the visitors’ equaliser in front of the Town End for no reason.
Let’s put it down to the folly of youth from the teenager but it lacked class.
Back to Sinclair and he has shown over the last three games what he can bring to the North End cause.
He showed his versatility by playing on the right-wing, having started on the left against Charlton and up front at Barnsley.
While some supporters are annoyed Sinclair was the only January signing, let’s not overlook what the quality he will bring.
3. Declan Rudd had a pretty quiet afternoon for PNE between the posts, in the main well protected by the back four.
Swansea’s three shots on target all came in the first half, those being Brewster’s equaliser and efforts from George Byers and Bersant Celina which didn’t overly stretch keeper Rudd.
Andre Ayew posed the main threat for the visitors down the Swansea right, with him up against Joe Rafferty.
There were a few unsettling moments for the left-back but he settled into the game as it went on.
4. David Nugent made a decent impact from the bench when he came on, his arrival allowing Tom Barkhuizen to move wide.
The substitute linked play well and North End offered more of a threat in the closing stages.
Neil also brought on Sean Maguire towards the end and still had one more sub to use but chose not to.
Post-match, Neil spoke of considering putting Jayden Stockley on for Daniel Johnson but chose not to so to keep three in midfield against Swansea’s three.
This one could well have suited Stockley's physical presence and height.
5. The officials have probably had better days than they did on Saturday.
There were a few questionable calls going both ways which led to referee Geoff Eltringham and his assistants getting a flea in the ear from the crowd.
PNE shouted loudly for offside against Andre Ayew in the build-up to Swansea's equaliser, however screen grabs of the footage showed Ayew was just being played on by Patrick Bauer.
However, Brewster's second-half foul on Pearson could quite easily have led to a red card instead of the yellow shown to the striker.
Swansea thought they should have had a penalty when Brewster went to ground under a challenge from Bauer.
Mr Eltringham even lost his yellow card at one stage, it dropping from his pocket and recovered by Brewster.
The Swansea loanee jokingly showed it to the referee before handing it back and the official took it in the spirit meant.
But remember Paul Gascoigne doing that when playing for Rangers and getting booked?