Four things we learned from Preston North End’s draw with Lee Bowyer’s Birmingham City

Preston were made to settle for a point on their return to Deepdale after a month away, drawing 1-1 with Birmingham City.

By Tom Sandells
Sunday, 16th January 2022, 4:45 pm

Patrick Bauer scored the first goal of the game, a stroke of fortune as the ball clipped the German from Alan Browne’s shot at goal.

They held on to that lead for the majority of the game before Birmingham’s Scott Hogan came off the bench to win a point for his side with just four minutes to go, heading past Daniel Iversen.

TOM SANDELLS looks at four talking points from the clash at Deepdale.

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1. Wasteful PNE.

North End came away with a point when they should have won all three.

They were in control for the majority of the game but by not scoring more than once they were still just a moment away from levelling.

It could take a freak moment, a glaring error or as it transpired just one well taken move . Though they had few clear-cut opportunities, the chances were there for the Lilywhites.

It was the final ball that let Ryan Lowe’s side down which prevented them from making them count.

Twice Daniel Johnson broke through the centre to go one on one but could not be found, Tom Barkhuizen also had the same problem.

Decision making cost PNE, and a lack of final ball and finesse in the final third.

On another day PNe could have taken the three points at a canter.

2. Seven out of nine.

Despite a disappointing draw on the whole, it is still seven points from nine for Ryan Lowe to start his reign at Deepdale.

It is a very good return as his side continues to adapt to his methods. He has a infectious personality and you can see that the players are buying into what he wants to do.

Hopefully it is only just the start for the new boss, and he won’t be short of games to get match practice for his style.

3. Greg Cunningham.

When Lowe took charge he said that everyone would get a chance to prove their worth. Cunningham got that in the FA Cup against Cardiff City and it has paid off. He was in at left wing-back for the injured Josh Earl and did a sterling job.

He was positive on the ball and solid at the back – one of the best players on the pitch according to his manager.

For a great servant as the Irishman has been for PNE it is pleasing to see him take his chance in the side.

4. Three days to wait.

After letting their lead slip late on, it will sting for the PNE players to not walk away from Deepdale as victors on Saturday.

They do not have long to wait to put it right, though.

Games now come very quickly, not just Saturdays but midweeks too.

Sheffield United come for the delayed Boxing Day game, on Tuesday, and West Bromwich Albion the following Wednesday.

It is a good chance to create some momentum for Lowe and to take more from the training ground into a match scenario.