Three draws in a week could prove vital come the end of season, says Preston supporter Tim Mercer
In the end a hard-earned point against promotion chasing West Bromwich Albion extended North End’s unbeaten run to five in the league, with this their third draw on the trot.
Given the tough away trips of the previous two matches and this may look like a decent enough haul come the season’s end. The visitors arrived at Deepdale unbeaten and second in the table and are expected to push for an automatic promotion place back to the topflight.
It showed in terms of their aggression, technical skill and ‘Premier League’ style complaints against the match officials when things didn’t go their way! However, Preston gave as good as they got and thoroughly deserved a point by time the final whistle was blown. Indeed, having taken the lead inside the first 30 minutes we all felt slightly downhearted at the break by the soft nature of the Baggies equaliser in first-half stoppage time. #
Blatantly stealing a good 10 yards forward for a long throw into the box allowed a harder to deal with ball to head-ping around the six-yard area before being headed in at the far post.
It cancelled out a Ben Whiteman goal that had touch of fortune itself in taking a deflection into the net past the stranded and former Lilywhite keeper Sam Johnstone; one of four former players in the visiting side who have worn the PNE shirt.
Of these, Jordan Hugill will rue his return the most having shot tamely at Daniel Iversen in the closing minutes when put through in the box in what should have been his first goal in his first start.
Whilst the visitors threatened throughout the second period Preston did unsettle them on the break; with Ryan Ledson coming close with a good volley well saved by Johnstone following a cross from the left wing.
There were also home debuts from the bench for the recently signed trio of Connor Wickham, Josh Murphy and Ali McCann, with the latter in particular catching the eye by delivering the crunching type of tackles that always warm a fan’s heart in the cold winter days to come.
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