PNE Fans’ Panel: Tim Mercer sees Bristol City trip as a point gained

The recent improvement in North End’s form continued at Bristol City, albeit with only a share of the spoils to show for their endeavours.

Sunday, 12th September 2021, 12:30 pm

On my scorecard the visitors just about edged it over the 90 minutes which, given my inevitable bias, means a draw was probably a fair result and on reflection should be seen as a point gained rather than two dropped.

Preston started and finished the first half well, looking more like the home side.

They took the game to their hosts and we, the fans, did our bit in making plenty of ‘home-level’ noise in the away stand.

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In that period, Sean Maguire came close on two occasions, his first hitting the crossbar and his second going just wide across the face of goal.

The Robins raised their game after the break and it needed a superb fingertip save at full stretch by Daniel Iversen to keep them out. Still the Lilywhites could have snatched all three points as the best chance of the match fell to Emil Riis inside the box following good work by Josh Earl.

In all honesty it simply needed steering into the net, but the young forward appeared to lose his footing and it was blasted over.

For me, Daniel Johnson stood out as our best player, and the surprising substitution late on may have been more about a niggle he appeared to have picked up when stretching for a chance inside the six-yard area.

If so, a sensible precaution given the resumption of the Tuesday-Saturday schedule that is the rough and tumble of the Championship.

A final point of amusement for me was the tactic often used by the Robins’ manager Nigel Pearson of using the long throw at every available opportunity.

It involved the ball boys having to get what looked like the most enormous bath towels ever produced to their player in order to wipe down the ball and I half expected a gust of wind to send them hang-gliding across the pitch at any moment.