Preston North End 1 AFC Bournemouth 1 match report: Daniel Johnson's equaliser earns PNE a point at Deepdale
Daniel Johnson's second-half goal earned Preston North End a draw against play-off hopefuls AFC Bournemouth at Deepdale
The midfielder curled home a low finish in the 71st minute, bringing PNE level after Amaut Danjuma had given the visitors a first-half lead.
North End getting anything out of the contest had looked unlikely at the interval, Bournemouth having dominated the opening 45 minutes.
They had been been denied three times by saves from Daniel Iversen before they deservedly broke the deadlock.
For whatever reason, the hosts had seemed to give Bournemouth too much respect and let them play.
Alex Neil's side were much better in the second-half, gradually looking more of an attacking threat - Tom Barkhuizen and Ched Evans having chances.
So there was some much merit in Johnson's equaliser, it certainly coming with the run of play at the time.
The North End had side had shown four changes fromlast Tuesday night's 2-1 defeat at Millwall.
Alan Browne, Johnson, Barkhuizen and Paul Huntington came into the starting XI, injury ruling out Andrew Hughes while Anthony Gordon, Jayson Molumbyt and Bradd Potts dropped to the bench.
The pattern of the first half play quickly became apparent, Bournemouth bossing possession with North End sitting off in what resembled a containment exercise.
Iversen saved low down from Liam Kelly in the 10th minute after the ball had been cut back from the left-wing.
Lewis Cook's shot deflected into Iversen gloves before the Danish keeper made a good save in the 27th minute, diving to his left to parry Jefferson Lerma's effort.
Just past the half-hour Iversen was in action again, saving at his near post from Danjuna's flicked effort after Kelly had cut a low ball from the byline into his path.
The inevitable Cherries breakthrough came in the 37th minute.
A long ball down Bournemouth's right-channel had Jordan Storey backpedalling, the defender getting underneath the ball and only able to head it up in the air under pressure from Dominic Solanke.
As the ball dropped Solanke was first to it, rolling a low ball into the middle for Danjuma to stroke the ball past Iversen.
The only time in the first half when North End threatened going forward came five minutes before half-time.
Barkhuizen chased Johnson's pass down the right-wing, his low cross just evading the stretching Evans at the near post.
The ball carried on travelling across the box and beyond the far post, Browne's attempt at the turning it goalwards lacking power with him on the stretch.
Four minutes into the second half, Storey saw a shot from the edge of the box just clear the bar after the Bournemouth defence had partly cleared Ben Whiteman's free-kick.
Cook fired over the bar from similar distance at the other end, before two chances fell PNE's way in quick succession.
Evans' flick sent Barkhuizen racing into the box but Kelly got across to block his shot.
In the next passage of play, Whiteman lifted a diagonal ball into the box which Evans brought down and fired goalwards, the ball catching a deflection which carried it over the bar.
North End pulled level in the 71st minute, Bournemouth skipper Steve Cook's clearance from the visitors' left channel intercepted by Johnson.
The midfielder moved in field and from just outside the box stroked a trademark left-foot finish across the keeper into the far corner.
Whiteman went close in the 82nd minute after the corner he had taken was cleared back out to him.
The midfielder brought the ball in to the side of the box and curled a shot goalwards, one which caught a slight deflection to take it over the bar.
PNE: Iversen, van den Berg, Storey, Huntington, Cunningham, Browne, Whiteman, Sinclair (Gordon 66) Johnson (Potts 83), Barkhuizen (Maguire 66), Evans. Subs (not used): Bayliss, Gallagher, Rafferty, Riis, Molumby, Ripley.
AFC Bournemouth: Begovic, Smith, Carter-Vickers, S Cook, Kelly, Lerma, Pearson L Cook (Long 75), Stanilas (Wilshere 83), Danjuma, Solanke. Subs (not used): Mepham, Stacey, Riquelme, Kilkenny, Anthony, Zemura, Travers.
Referee: Jared Gillett (Liverpool)
Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 per month for the first two months. Try us today by clicking here