Preston North End fans’ panel: John Roper has his say on the draw at Ipswich Town

Preston North End's Ben Pearson is tackled by Ipswich Town's Cole Skuse
Preston North End's Ben Pearson is tackled by Ipswich Town's Cole Skuse

A poor game for 70 minutes that burst into life with the introduction of Paul Gallagher who made all the headlines for the right reasons.

North End had been a goal down since just before the break when Chris Maxwell conceded a penalty, but when Gally equalised with a trademark free kick it finally looked to be game on for North End.

A second offence by Maxwell outside of the box saw the North End keeper red carded only for Gallagher to don a spare keeper’s shirt and take up his position between the sticks.

I have to say that we looked far better with 10 men than we did with 11 and should have won the game when Lukas Nmecha missed a glorious opportunity late on having been put clean through by Sean Maguire in a one on one with the keeper.

North End played their usual 4-2-3-1 but really took a lot of time to get into the game. Ipswich came out flying as you would expect from a team trying to impress their new manager Paul Lambert but North End didn’t seem ready or aware for what was unfolding in front of them.

The forward play was very ineffective and the attacking quality from midfield also lacked penetration and accuracy.

Josh Earl had a header saved on the line but it was the home side who were making the half chances to worry North End, although I have to say they didn’t really look like scoring.

A short back pass saw Maxwell twice attempt to clear the ball eventually conceding a penalty when the ball should have been in row Z. A goalkeeping error and Freddie Sears made no mistake giving the Tractor Boys the half time lead.The second half started pretty much as the first had ended with North End offering little and Ipswich not offering much more.

The hosts did have a couple of half chances but the game continued to be of a poor standard with two poor teams.

Alex Neil decided it was time for a change and brought on Moult soon to be followed by Nmecha and Gallagher. North End won a free kick just outside the box in a central position and Gally eventually stepped up to level the scores and give North End some hope for a win.

Unfortunately, just moments later, Maxwell was off for a foul outside the box and into the goals went Gally. The defence protected him very well and he really only had one save to make which he did spectacularly punching the ball away.

We were looking far better with 10 and our chance for all three points came but unfortunately Nmecha fired straight at the keeper when he really should have scored.

Taking this game on its merits I thought we were generally poor and offered little going forward for long periods of the game.

It is a squad in real need of refreshing but I suppose that is a discussion for another day.

Recently we seem to up our game when we are chasing or have our backs against the wall and we must start games better if we are to climb the table. 15 points from 16 games is relegation form and although we have gone six unbeaten we are extremely inconsistent at the moment.

The unbeaten run can be deemed as a positive but North End must get 10 points from the next six games, as they have done from the last six, if we are to climb away from the trouble we are undoubtedly in.

It turned out to be a decent point in the end considering how the game went but the 404 North End fans at Portman Road on Saturday looked very worried leaving the stadium. This is now a relegation fight with some tricky fixtures to come.