Tom Sandells looks at the talking points from Preston's draw against Bournemouth
Preston North End came from a goal behind to claim a point at Deepdale against AFC Bournemouth on Saturday.
Arnaut Danjuma had given the Cherries the lead in a first half the visitors dominated but Daniel Johnson equalised in the second 45 in a period where PNE were the better side.
TOM SANDELLS looks at four talking points from the game.
1. Honours even.
As was mentioned through the week after the disappointing late loss to Millwall, a draw isn’t necessarily a bad result.
The point a Deepdale on Saturday was only the fifth time this season that both North End and their opposition have come away with something.
The Cherries are very much a side with the top two in mind this season, never mind the top six.
They’ve now taken four points from Bournemouth and Reading, drawn against top of the table Norwich and beaten Brentford - amongst the top seven, where the Cherries currently sit.
Making sure they at least get some sort of result against the top sides is a good trait of PNE, who over the years seem to have the ability to raise their game to the occasion.
2. Home improvement.
In the first half at Deepdale, PNE were way off the pace.
The majority of the action took place in their own half and it felt inevitable that Jonathan Woodgate’s men would find their way through the PNE defence.
Any sort of result seemed a long way off at the break but that all changed.
In the second half North End looked like a different team and stepped things up to ensure they got something from the game.
That deserves some credit as they were up against a top side at this level.
3. An impact from the bench.
Alex Neil made a double change after 66 minutes, replacing both of his wingers.
Tom Barkhuizen and Scott Sinclair made way for Anthony Gordon and Sean Maguire. The pair livened up the game. Maguire began linking up very well with his fellow forwards, Johnson and Alan Browne whilst Gordon on the other side carried his own threat.
It allowed PNE the chance to build through the right flank manned by the Irishman whilst the Everton loanee on the left profited from the extra space that provided to carry the ball and commit defenders.
They helped open the game up and maintain the pressure after the Lilywhites found an equaliser.
4. Returns from injury.
PNE were buoyed before kick off as they welcomed captain Alan Browne back into the starting XI, with the aforementioned Maguire back on the bench.
Maguire was involved for the first time in exactly a month, missing six games in that time. Browne back in the midfield added a bit more fight that had been missing and it hopefully won’t be too much longer before we see Ryan Ledson return also.
The Lilywhites’ bench has looked a bit sparce in recent weeks but there were good options for Alex Neil to call upon against Bournemouth and he did so to good effect.
Maguire and Browne are both regular starters when fit, likewise is LEdson and that trio back with minutes under their belts could mkae a huge difference.
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