Match report: PNE 1 Stoke City 1

PNE v Stoke
PNE v Stoke

Preston North End and Stoke City shared the spoils in a well-contested friendly at Deepdale.

Daniel Johnson gave the Lilywhites a seventh-minute lead with a low shot from 20 yards.

Premier League outfit Stoke levelled nine minute into the second half, substitute Mame Diouf firing home after being found by a fine pass from Bojan Krkic.

Both sides struck the woodwork, Paul Huntington's header late in the first period clipping the post, then Bojan hit the same upright at the start of the second half.

Ben Pringle impressed in his first game at Deepdale since joining from Fulham, with him putting in a fine shift for the 75 minutes he was on the pitch.

Simon Grayson used 19 players over the course of the game, Anders Lindegaard, Bailey Wright and Paul Huntington played the full game.

North End lined-up in a 3-5-2 system, with Chris Humphrey and Greg Cunningham in the wing-back slots.

Pringle joined Paul Gallagher and Johnson in the centre of midfield, Joe Garner and Jermaine Beckford leading the attack.

In the opening exchanges, Pringle's neat touch provided Garner with the space to run towards goal, his shot from 20 yards charged down by Ryan Shacross.

PNE took a seventh minute lead, it coming on the break after Stoke had a free-kick in a dangerous position.

A foul by Pringle on Bojan gave the visitors the free-kick a yard outside the box.

It was Bojan who took it, drilling a low shot into the wall - probably in the belief they would jump to anticipate a higher effort.

North End broke forward from it, Garner worked the ball out to Humphrey who sped up the right-wing.

His cross found Pringle who stretched to lay it off into the path of Johnson, the midfielder's deflected low shot from 20 yards wrong-footing Potters goalkeeper Jack Butland.

Soon after, Johnson saw another shot blocked in the box as Preston got their tails up.

As the first half went on, Stoke began to get more into the contest, a free-kick from Marko Arnautovic hitting the wall and looping behind for a corner.

Bojan's ambitious overhead kick from a tight angle on the right hand side of the box was plucked out of the air by Lindegaard, then Arnautovic headed wide from a Bojan cross.

Just beyond the half-hour mark, Arnautovic was played clear in the box but Lindegaard was off his line quickly to close him down and the Austrian striker shot wide of the near post.

Twice, Preston went close to doubling their lead in the run-up to the interval.

Garner reacted instinctively when Gianelli Imbula mis-controlled in the centre-circle, trying his luck with a shot from just inside the Stoke half which Butland had to dive to push past the post.

The resulting corner from Paul Gallagher was met by Paul Huntington, his header clipping the near post and going behind.

At half-time, Cunningham was replaced by Be Davies in the left wing-back slot, with Stoke making three changes - Peter Crouch, Julian N'Goye and Diouf coming on.

Within 40 seconds of the re-start, Bojan skipped his way into the box and curled a shot past Lindegaard which came back off the top of the far post and was cleared.

Stoke's equaliser was not long coming though, with them levelling in the 54th minute.

Bojan's chipped pass forward caught out Davies, allowing Diouf to run clear down the right side of the box and hit a right-foot finish across Lindegaard into the net.

North End went close to retaking the lead after an hour, Pringle's inch-perfect cross from the left-wing finding Garner in the box, the striker's diving header pushed behind by Butland diving to his right.

Crouch had a couple of headed chances in quick succession, the first he put straight at Lindegaard and the second he glanced wide.

At the other end, Doyle got away down the right channel but pulled his shot across goal and wide.

Late on, Wright's deep cross was kept in by Callum Robinson beyond the far post, his looping header clipping the top of the bar and landing on top of the net.

In the 90th minute, Lindegaard came to North End's rescue with a fine reaction save to dive and push away Diouf's powerful volley.

Diouf had another chance in stoppage-time, meeting a long ball from Joel Taylor but firing over from an angle.

PNE: Lindegaard, Clarke (Grimshaw 75), Huntington, Wright, Humphrey (Robinson 61), Pringle (Hugill 75), Gallagher (Welsh 70), Johnson (Pearson 70), Cunningham (Davies 46), Beckford (Makienok 70), Garner. (Doyle 70) Subs (not used): Browne, Smith, Maxwell, Hudson.

Stoke: Butland, Johnson (Bardsley 64), Shawcross (Diouf 46), Muniesa, Pieters (Taylor 79), Joselu (N'Goye 46), Adam, Imbula (Lecygne 75), Wollschied, Arnautovic (Crouch 46), Krkic (Shenton 64). Subs (not used): Edwards, Waring, Telford, Haugaard.

Referee: Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire)

Attendance: 4,493 (906 away)