PNE 1 Bristol City 1
Jermaine Beckford opened the scoring for the Lilywhites when he fired home from Paul Gallagher’s shot on 59 minutes, but the visitors levelled four minutes later.
A ball bobbled round in the box and skipper Aaron Wilbraham was on hand to head home after Aden Flint had headed back across goal for the Robins.
Jack King retained his place in the team in the absence of Paul Huntington in a back three for the Lilywhites, with Chris Humphrey also in the starting XI.
It was a cagey opening in front of a boisterous and swelled crowd at Deepdale; the first chance a free kick for the visitors 13 minutes in Marlon Pack’s free kick wide of the right hand post from 25 yards out.
The scores were then kept level by a wonderful reaction save from Sam Johnstone, when a Kieran Agard flick was headed goalwards by City skipper Aaron Wilbraham.
Just past the half hour mark a Luke Freeman free kick was straight tat Johnstone, who immediately sent North End on the break, The long ball found its way to Jermaine Beckford whose overhead kick beat Frank fielding, but hit the outside of the post.
A Scott Laird corner followed very soon after an almost went straight in, Fielding palming away for another crossing opportunity.
Five minutes before the break some good PNE pressure saw Laird put a header out to Humphrey who cut inside and drilled just over the left corner of the bar from the right hand corner of the box with his left foot.
Four minutes after the break an Aaron Wilbraham header came back off the bar as the Lilywhites rode their luck; Sam Johnstone then making a superb follow up save from Luke Freeman.
Scott Laird and Paul Gallagher both went close with efforts from outside the box, but Fielding was alert to them both.
But it was the Lilywhites who had the lead just before the hour mark. A deep ball from the right by Chris Humphrey was headed back across goal by Joe Garner and Paul Gallagher had a left foot shot towards goal that Jermaine Beckford fired hard and low into the bottom left hand corner from six yards out.
But the lead lasted just four minutes as Aaron Wilbraham capitalised on a bouncing ball in the box to head home from Aden Flint’s header into the six yard box to level matters.
Nine minutes left and Johnstone again produced to save from Agard after a long punt forward by Flint.
It was a tense last ten minutes, with both sides throwing on substitutes, but in the end they had to settle for a point.
PNE line-up: Johnston, Humphrey (Wiseman, 84), Laird, Clarke (c), King, Wright, Welsh, Johnson, Garner (Robinson, 84), Beckford (K Davies, 90), Gallagher. Subs not used: Stuckmann, Kilkenny, Woods, Little.
Bristol City line-up: Fielding, Williams, Flint, Smith, Freeman (Elliott, 90), Wilbraham, Agard (Emmanuel-Thomas, 82), Pack, Ayling, Bryan, Tavernier. Subs not used: Richards, Osborne, Wagstaff, Saville, Cunningham.
Attendance: 16,441 (2,442 away fans)
Referee: Mr R Madley