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PNE 1 Stoke City 1

23 July 2016

North End and Premier League Stoke City played out an entertaining draw in the sunshine at Deepdale as the season drew closer.

Daniel Johnson opened the scoring with a deflected shot after an excellent pacy counter-attacking move from the Lilywhites that came from a Stoke free on the edge of the PNE box.

Eventually Humphrey found Pringle, who laid the ball off for the No.11 on the edge of the 'D' and his left footed curling effort took a knick off a defender and sent England stopper Jack Butland the wrong way.

Stoke equalised just eight minutes into the second half; half-time substitute Mama Diouf firing home from Bojan's long ball over the top of Ben Davies, before unleashing from 15 yards.

The free kick that led to North End's opener was the first chance of the game; Bojan fouled by Bailey Wright, but the Spaniard hit his low effort straight into the wall.

The loose ball was collected by Paul Gallagher who fired it out wide to Humphrey on the right hand side.  The Jamaican raced down the touchline and then crossed to Pringle on the edge of the box; he stretched to lay it off to Johnson, who wrapped a left foot around it, but the ball took a deflection that sent it towards the bottom right, with Butland going the other way.

The Lilywhites looked sharp in their first and only home outing of pre-season, Gallagher whipped a great ball into the box which was cleared by Potters skipper Ryan Shawcross.

Just after the half hour mark the visitors went close to levelling matters as Marko Arnautovic got free on right hand side of the box, one on one with Lindegaard, but fired wide.

Right on the stroke of half-time it was almost two from two fantastic moments. Firstly Joe Garner robbed Charlie Adam in the midfield and spotted Butland off his line, fireing from the half way line, but a brilliant back tracking stop from the England keeper prevented it being 2-0. From the resulting corner Gallagher crossed and Paul Huntington met the ball powerfully, but heading against the post, the ball richeting behind for a goal kick.

Garner would have wrapped up the goal of the season inside the first 45 minutes of pre-season had his effort gone in!

At the break the visitors added to their fire power with Crouch and Diouf and it paid dividends in the opening ten minutes of the half. Firstly in the opening 60 seconds Bojan cut inside from the left and crashed a shot against the right hand post and then Glen Johnson crossed a deep ball for Crouch at the back post - but his header was wide of Anders Lindegaard's goal.

But Mark Hughes' side drew level on 53 minutes. It was a long ball from Bojan that found a run in behind half-time substiute Ben Davies from Diouf and he fired hard past Lindegaard into the top right hand corner.

Two chances fell the way of Simon Grayson's men shortly after the hour mark. Firstly Ben Pringle picked up the ball and delivered from the left, perfectly weighted for Joe Garner, who made a diving header that was heading into the bottom left hand corner before Butland showed all his international quality, to tip the ball at full stretch behind for a corner.

Then shortly after a hugely strong appeal for a penalty was turned down by referee Jeremy Simpson, when Paul Gallagher turned two defenders inside out, opnly to be upended by Philipp Wollschied, however, the match official threw out his arms and waved away the cries of players and fans.

In the closing minutes North End put together some excellent football; Ben Davies spreading a wide ball for Hugill, whose ball in towards Makienok was well cut out and then Bailey Wright picked up the loose ball and crossed for Callum Robinson, whose header was over Butland but also just inches over the bar.

In the last of the action, with a minute left, Anders Lindegaard had to be at his best to get a strong-outstretched arm to a shot from Diouf after he again showed his pace with a run into the right hand channel.

PNE line-up: Lindegaard, Clarke (c) (Hugill), Huntington, Wright, Humphrey (C Robinson, 61), Pringle (Grimshaw, 76), Gallagher (Pearson, 69), Johnson (Welsh, 69), Cunningham (Davies, 46), Beckford (Makienok, 69), Garner (Doyle, 69). Subs: Maxwell, Hudson, Browne, Smith.

Stoke City line-up: Butland, Pieters (Taylor, 79), Muniesa, G Johnson (Bardsley, 65), Arnautovic (Crouch, 46), Joselu, Adam, Shawcross (c) (Diouf, 46), Imbula (Lecygne), Wollschied, Krkic (Shenton, 65). Subs: Haugaard, Edwards, N'Goye, Waring, Telford.

Attendance: 4,493 (0906 away fans)

Referee: Mr J Simpson

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