Manager Simon Grayson admitted that U’s boss Joe Dunne has apologised for what could almost be described as highway robbery at Deepdale.
The visitors took a point after scoring with their one and only shot on target, whilst North End amassed almost 30 efforts on goal, but the gaffer felt his side failed to show the necessary ruthless streak needed to kill off the men from Essex.
“The opposition manager actually apologised for nicking a point off us; but that’s just football – we’ve all been there,” said Grayson after the game.
“I’m devastated; I think anyone who has been here today has seen us drawn a game where we could have won four or five!
“We had the chances and you don’t have to look at the stats to see what we should have had out of the game today. We had 28 attempts on goal and only scored one goal, which is so frustrating.
“You know in games like this that the opposition have nothing to lose and you have to make sure you keep the back door shut. You have to stay focused and we didn’t close down their player, who has a sweet left foot, and we were punished. The game should have been out of sight, which is frustrating, because we’ve dropped two points when we didn’t need to.”
The chances started after only 40 seconds and continued to flow – North End finally taking a deserved lead in first half injury time, but what looked like a certain three points ended up only being one, with the Lilywhites missing an opportunity to move into the top three.
“We could have won the games by double figures today,” continued the manager. “We had 38 crosses into the box and you have to be ruthless and make sure you punish teams when you have opportunities.
“Maybe we took too many liberties and should have shot more rather than offloading. In any division you have to be ruthless in both boxes and we weren’t at either end today.
“I have never managed a team where they have had so many chances to go and win the game and we are gobsmacked in the dressing room. For the good work that we did, passing the ball, creating chances; we only ended up getting one point.
“Everybody had chances. We are hugely disappointed, but there were a lot of positives to take from the game and you have to draw from those sometimes. If we play like that against the other teams in the division, we are going to take more points than we drop.
“As much as everyone is frustrated, there are a lot of encouraging signs. Neil Kilkenny dictated the midfield areas and played very well; the front two were a handful and plenty of crosses came in, so whilst we are all so frustrated – and everyone has a right to be – there were many positive aspects and if we carry that forward we will get results.”