Patrick Bauer scored his first Preston North End goal as the Lilywhites drew their latest pre-season friendly against Accrington Stanley at the LFA Headquarters.
Both sides scored within five minutes of each other with headed goals just before half-time in extremely hot temperatures at the County Ground, with Colby Bishop equalising the German’s opener.
In reality, Alex Neil’s Lilywhites should have been out of sight by half-time with Demi Evtimov and the Stanley backline preventing the returning Brad Potts on two occasions, plus other members of the North End attack.
They could have gone ahead in the opening minute as Josh Ginnelly shot across goal from the right, with Louis Moult flying in at the back post, only for Mark Hughes to get across and make an excellent block.
Just after the quarter hour mark Evtimov made a superb save from Potts, starting his first game of pre-season. There was some great build-up play by the greens, with the No.44 forcing a stop from the Reds No.1, the ball coming back out to Harrop on the edge of the ‘D’, with Hughes again making a fine block on the line.
The keeper and North End’s former Barnsley midfielder seemed to be having a personal battle, with the custodian using his face to deny Potts a goal on 20 minutes inside the six yard box, after more slick passing.
The East Lancashire sides first chance came the way of Sean McConville, whose effort from 20 yards was well saved by Declan Rudd, turning the ball behind with two hands.
However, it was Paul Gallagher who almost raised the roof as he saw Evtimov off his line and was inches away from scoring from the half-way line, as England captain Harry Kane had done days before.
But the opening goal came on 39 minutes. A quick one-two from a corner between Gallagher and Harrop, saw the ball set for the former to curl in a superb ball from the right and Bauer rose highest at the back post, to head into the top right corner of the goal.
However, Stanley were back level seconds before the break. Right back Callum Johnson delivered the ball in from the right-hand side and Bishop rose above his defender to head home from ten yards out.
Another Gallagher cross seven minutes into the latter period was headed back across goal by Bauer for Louis Moult, but he couldn’t keep his left foot volley down and it flew over the bar from the penalty spot.
Ryan Ledson went close to his first goal for North End too, as a deflected effort from 25 yards left Evtimov flat-footed, but the ball flew inches over the bar for a corner.
Late changes for North End saw them dominant in possession and former Accrington man Sean Maguire forced another good save from the goalkeeper, after Andrew Hughes’ low cross from the left, but the game remained 1-1.
PNE line-up: Rudd, Rafferty (Fisher, 61), Huntington (Davies, 76), Bauer, Earl (Hughes, 76), Ledson (Pearson, 76), Gallagher (Johnson, 76), Potts (Burke, 61), Ginnelly (Barkhuizen, 76), Moult, Harrop (Bodin, 75 (Maguire, 80). Subs not used: Ripley, Clarke, Storey, Browne.
Accrington Stanley line-up: Evtimov, Johnson, J Maguire, M Hughes, Sykes, Conneely, Clarke, Finley (Pritchard, 78), Bishop (Simmonds, 57), Sherif, McConville (Trialist, 78). Subs not used: Savin, Angol, Barclay, Wilson.
Referee: Mr G Salisbury