PNE Academy drew 0-0 against Carlisle United in a game that was full of controversy which left the Lilywhites feeling a little hard done by.
Jonathan Lunny then tested Fowler when his 20 yard strike was tipped round the post by the Carlisle shot-stopper.
The game settled into a disjointed tempo with neither side carving out any real opportunities.
Josh Sampson was dominating everything in defence for PNE; however the midfield couldn’t quite impose themselves on the game, with Carlisle’s Connor Hammell impressing.
Sampson then clipped a Carlisle clearance to the back post which was in turn whipped into the penalty area, but the cross was slightly too high for the arriving Lunny whose header went just over the crossbar.
Shortly after Bradley Roscoe had a great chance at the near post from a corner but his header went just over the upright.
The game continued very much in the same fashion as both sides cancelled each other out with the defences proving tricky to break down.
The Cumbrians gained an advantage as it approached half-time with a flurry of chances.
Firstly, Mikey Quigley struck a sweet half volley from range but luckily it was directed straight at Ross Dalton.
The PNE keeper was on hand again when he flung himself to divert Hammell’s dipping volley from nestling in the top left corner.
Jordan Marshall then picked up a booking for a cynical foul on Preston’s Dsane, before Quigley wriggled himself free in the PNE penalty box but could only toe-poke his effort straight at Dalton.
Dsane had a fantastic opportunity to give his side a half-time lead when he found himself down the right-hand side of the box but he blazed his shot into the side netting.
Half-time had been and gone but the game was still a well fought tussle with no clear cut chances.
Carlisle had the opening chance of the half in the 55th minute when Jack Elliot arrived late at the back post but his shot was superbly blocked by Sampson.
Nick Harrison changed personnel in the 56th minute when he made a double sub replacing Lunny and James Boyd by bringing on Sam Livesy and Luke Pritchard.
Dsane then went on a mazy run beating four players and winning a corner, but when the ball fell to his feet from the set piece he couldn’t quite get his shot away.
Carlisle then enjoyed another bright 15 minute spell.
Harvey Moyes curled his effort from the edge of the box but again couldn’t beat Dalton in PNE’s goal.
Marshall then hit another long range effort, this time his shot flashed just wide of the post.
Jason Blackburn then had a magnificent chance for Carlisle ten yards out but Preston defenders launched themselves to block and deflected his shot over the bar.
Dsane had a good opportunity for PNE after doing all the hard work but he tried one turn too many and the chance was gone.
Minutes later the young striker was through with Livesy in acres of space to his right but he was tackled before he could slot his partner in.
The game really became stretched as both sides pushed for that allusive winner.
Elliot had another chance at the back post for the Cumbrians but he sent his volley just wide of the mark.
As the game entered the last ten minutes, Dsane beat one man and was bearing down on goal when he appeared to be brought down by Carlisle’s last defender.
Appeals for a red card were turned down as the referee saw nothing doing at all.
In the 82nd minute Preston North End thought they had that all important goal when Sampson leaped highest in the box to head home a corner, but celebrations were muted when the goal was controversially disallowed for an apparent foul on the goalkeeper.
Lyle Magolis then replaced Adam Robinson for the last five minutes as North End continued to search for a winner.
The game was now thoroughly entertaining and end-to-end, and Dalton pulled off another spectacular save to deny Carlisle’s stand out performer Hammell.
Jordan Marshall received his marching orders in the 88th minute after picking up his second bookable offence for a deliberate handball leaving his side a man down to fend off a PNE onslaught.
There was still time for one last effort from Harry Hagon after he made his way into the penalty area but he could only skew his shot wide whilst off balance and the game finished 0-0.
Manager Nick Harrison reflected on his side’s 0-0 draw after the match and he admitted to feeling hard done by.
He said: “I thought it was an entertaining game and both teams had some good chances, but for me there was nothing wrong with the disallowed goal and that has cost us today.
“We got in good positions in the attacking third for the majority of the game but we just lacked that little bit of quality and that final product, but ultimately we should’ve won the game.”
The Academy never really showcased the football they are capable of but Harrison conceded that credit had to be given to Carlisle.
“We didn’t quite get into our rhythm but I think credit has to be given to Carlisle on that, they put up a good fight and also made good chances of their own were Ross [Dalton] made a few top saves,” continued
“We were just a bit too wasteful, and as I said, our final product today just wasn’t there.
“We had a few lads who didn’t perform like they can but we’ve had a great start and you can’t play well every game.”
Looking forward Nick added: “We didn’t lose the game and we’ve kept a clean sheet so there certainly are some positives with the result and hopefully we can move on and put in a better performance in the next game.”
PNE lineup: Ross Dalton, Clive Smith, Sean Whelan, Bradley Roscoe, Josh Sampson, Harry Hagan, James Boyd, Adam Robinson, Eddie Dsane, Jonathan Lunny, Lamin Jagne.
Subs: Luke Pritchard, James Bulluck, Sam Livesy, Lyle Magolis, James Quigley.
Carlisle lineup: Tom Fowler, Cuan Hurley, Ellis Pearson, Mikey Quigley, Jordan Marshall, Carl Taylor, Bradbury Arrow, Harvey Moyes, Jason Blackburn, Connor Hammell, Jack Elliot.
Subs: Joe Robson, Dan Eccles, Karlton Rudd, Max Brown, Tommy Whitehead.