Preston North End 1 Accrington Stanley 1 - Match report as honours end even at Leyland's County Ground

Josh Harrop in action for Preston against Accrington at Leyland. Pic courtesy of PNE
Josh Harrop in action for Preston against Accrington at Leyland. Pic courtesy of PNE

Patrick Bauer scored his first goal for Preston North End in their draw with Accrington Stanley at Lancashire FA's County Ground in Leyland.

The German centre-half, signed in the summer, met a cross from Paul Gallagher to head North End into a 39th minute lead.

But Colby Bishop brought Stanley level just before the half-time with a close-range header.

It was a competitive friendly, Accrington standing-in as late replacements for Bolton Wanderers who were the original opponents.

A few tackles went in and it was a good work out for both sides, even if a bit of quality was lacking at times.

North End bossed much of the first half and should have made more of their chances.

Bauer looked assured at the back and was one of only three Preston players to complete 90 minutes, Louis Moult and goalkeeper Declan Rudd the others.

Alex Neil had changed the full side from the one beaten by Southampton last Saturday as he looked to get all of the squad game time with the start of the season less than a fortnight away.

North End lined-up in their usual 4-2-3-1, Brad Potts - making his first appearance of pre-season - playing as the No.10 behind striker Louis Moult.

Josh Harrop was on the left-wing and Josh Ginnelly on the right, with Paul Gallagher partnering Ryan Ledson in midfielder.

Neil's men had the better of the first half in terms of chances yet were to go in all square.

An early effort from Moult was deflected wide by a defender's challenge, Ginnelly's driven low cross having created the chance.

Bauer put a header wide from an early Gallagher corner, then Harrop tested keeper Dimi Evimov with a curling shot from the edge of the box.

Moult, Potts and Harrop all had shots blocked in quick succession during a scramble inside the Stanley box as North End kept their pressure up.

Accrington threatened for the first time in the 31st minute with a Sean McConville shot from 25 yards which Rudd dived to his left to push behind.

Gallagher tried his luck with an audacious effort from the centre-circle which only just cleared the bar.

Preston drew first blood in the 39th minute, Gallagher playing a short corner to Harrop and taking the return pass.

His cross from the right channel was met in the air by Bauer who got between two defenders to angle a header back across the keeper and into the net.

The lead only lasted six minutes as Accrington equalised on the stroke of half-time.

Right-back Callum Johnson, a PNE target in January, put over a cross which Bishop headed past Rudd from six yards.

Chances came at both ends in the opening minutes of the second half, Accrington's Lamine Sherif getting on the end of a cross but succeeding only in bundling the ball at Rudd.

In the 52nd minute, Gallagher's deep cross was headed down into the middle by Bauer, Moult spinning to meet it on the turn and hammering a shot over the bar.

Neil made a double change after an hour, Potts replaced by Graham Burke and Darnell Fisher taking Joe Rafferty's right-back slot.

It was a return to action for Fisher just a fortnight after undergoing a hernia repair.

Ledson went close for North End with a left foot shot from the edge of the box which caught a deflection and went just over the bar.

In the closing stages, Bauer got on the end of an inswinging free-kick from Bodin but couldn't couldn't keep his header on target beyond the far post.

Substitute Sean Maguire's powerful shot on the turn forced Evtimov into a save at the near post.

PNE: Rudd, Rafferty (Fisher 61), Huntington (Davies 75), Bauer, Earl (Hughes 75), Ledson (Pearson 75), Gallagher (Johnson 75), Ginnelly (Barkhuizen 75), Potts (Burke 61), Harrop (Bodin 75, Maguire 80), Moult. Sus (not used): Browne, Clarke, Storey, Ripley.

Accrington: Evtimov, Johnson, Sykes, Hughes, Maguire, Clarke, Finley, Conneely, McConville, Bishop (Simmonds 57), Sherif. Subs: Savin, Trailist, Angol, Barclay, Pritchard, Trialist.

Referee: Graham Salisbury (Preston)

Attendance: 1,011