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Academy 1-1 Shrewsbury Town

5 January 2015

Preston North End earned a hard fought point at home to Shrewsbury Town as both sides started 2015 with a draw.

Eddie Dsane put Preston ahead after just two minutes from the penalty spot, but substitute Jordan Wilson also held his nerve from 12 yards to secure a point for the visitors.

The game was a scrappy affair with conditions slowing down the pace of the game, but Preston will have been happy to secure a point having been made to defend the majority of the game.

North End manager Nick Harrison said: “I thought we were poor for a large majority of the game, our quality wasn’t there, we had to defend for large periods of the game.

“The players had to put their bodies on the line to block shots but it was frustrating that we had to defend for so long.”

Although it was the first game back after the Christmas break, Preston looked full of energy and they were gifted a penalty after two minutes when James Boyd was fouled by Josh Ginnelly.

Dsane stepped up and confidently sent Shrews goalkeeper Shaun Rowley the wrong way to give his side the lead.

Ginnelly’s day soon got worse as an injury cut his game short and he was replaced by Wilson.

While things were getting worse for Shrewsbury, Preston looked menacing and as though they were in the mood for more, dominating possession without creating too many chances on goal.

Shrewsbury did eventually adapt to the boggy conditions at Victory Park and they could have been level on a number of occasions.

Niall Flint was denied by Ross Dalton at point blank range and he also had a free kick tipped round the post by the PNE keeper, while Ethan Jones struggled to find his range.

However, Preston remained resolute and led at half-time thanks to that early penalty.

Pressing the hosts back, the visitors started the second half how they had ended the first and had early shouts for a penalty of their own waved away.

But Preston’s resilience was finally broken as substitute Wilson equalised from 12 yards after Dalton brought down Kaiman Anderson as the striker rushed through on goal.

Shrewsbury continued to pile forward in search of a winner but they were unable to breakthrough a committed Preston backline, as the visitors became restricted to shots from range that more often than not were blocked by those in white shirts.

With Shrewsbury in the ascendancy, it became a test of Preston’s character to which the Lilywhites continued to give a solid account of themselves.

While the Salop were happy to commit men forward, the game became stretched and Preston could have won the game in the final few minutes, but they were unable to convert from a number of corners.

Preston would have been lucky to pick up all three points and their number nine acknowledged that his side were far from at their best.

Dsane said: “It was a very scrappy game, we can definitely play a lot better than that.

“The conditions were difficult, but I think we could have taken our chances and been a bit more effective from corners, we could have won that game and seen it out.

 “I thought at times our defending was amazing.

“They all put their bodies on the line; they really didn’t want to lose that game.”

Preston will feel that the game was there for the taking especially having taken the lead so early, but they were unable to press home their advantage as the visitors forced their way back into the game.

Harrison said: “I thought we started the game brightly.

“For the first 15-20 minutes we looked sharp, we controlled the game.

“I didn’t think we’d have a problem and I think the players took their foot off the gas and maybe thought the game was a little bit too easy and let them back in the game.

“From then onwards Shrewsbury probably deserved to get more out the game than what we did.”

PNE XI: Dalton, Smith, Whelan, Roscoe (C), Hancox, Hagon, Quigley, AJ Robinson, Dsane, Boyd, Jagne

Subs: Wicks, Hudson, Roberts, Crankshaw, Magolis

Shrewsbury Town XI: Rowley, Hickman, Burton, Grogan, Watkins (C), Fletcher, Ginnelly, Flint, Anderson, Jones, Kenton.

Subs XI: Butts, Ashton, Carta, King, Wilson.

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