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Match Reports

Match Report: St Johnstone 1-1 Preston North End

13 July 2021

Match Reports

Match Report: St Johnstone 1-1 Preston North End

13 July 2021

PNE were pegged back to a draw against St Johnstone as Ben Whiteman’s stunning opener was cancelled out in the second half.

North End took the lead on 35 minutes through a great effort by Whiteman, finding the back of the net from 25 yards via the crossbar.

St Johnstone levelled the scoring on 50 minutes through David Wotherspoon and he had the chance to give his side the lead five minutes later after Patrick Bauer was adjudged to have made a foul inside the area, but he blazed his penalty over the bar.

Starting from the off was Matthew Olosunde for his first appearance for the Lilywhites, while second-year scholar Lewis Leigh started his second game of pre-season.

After an even first 15 minutes, Mathew Hudson was called into action and he produced a great stop to prevent Ali McCann from inside the area, after Bauer’s clearance was intercepted.

At the other end, North End’s first shot on target came 27 minutes in, as Josh Harrop showed great feet to take the ball under control before manoeuvring it back onto his right foot and taking aim, but goalkeeper Zander Clark was equal to it.

The Lilywhites had the lead eight minutes later courtesy of a wonder strike from Whiteman, who had the captain's armband, as he curled the ball round the defender and in off the underside of the crossbar.

Olosunde almost doubled his new side’s lead soon afterwards, but he couldn’t keep his header down from six yards.

Whiteman was then at it again, this time from a free-kick, and he forced the ‘keeper into a smart save to his right. The ball rebounded out to Joe Rafferty, but his header was too high to trouble Clark.

North End went into the break a goal to the good and came back out with two new men, as Brad Potts and Tom Barkhuizen made their way on in place of Harrop and Olosunde.

Five minutes into the second half, the hosts capitalised on a loose clearance from goalkeeper Hudson and drew level, as Wotherspoon picked the ball up and found the far corner with great precision, despite the best efforts of Josh Earl running back towards the goal-line.

The Saints soon had a chance to turn the game on its head via the penalty spot, with the referee penalising Patrick Bauer for a supposed trip on Michael O’Halloran, but Wotherspoon fired the ball over the bar from 12 yards.

Just before PNE made wholesale changes on 60 minutes, O’Halloran almost put his side ahead, pouncing on a short header back to goal by Bauer, but he too sent his effort too high.

Ched Evans was one of the men to enter the fray in the seven changes made and he was found well in the area 77 minutes in, although he was just stretching for it and couldn’t quite make the connection he wanted, with his header going over the bar.

It was a competitive contest throughout and two yellow cards in the last 15 minutes epitomised that, with Brad Potts and St Johnstones’ Callum Hendry both going into the book for late challenges.

Starting XI: Hudson, van den Berg, Bauer, Earl, Olosunde (Barkhuizen, 46), Whiteman, Leigh, Rafferty, Harrop (Potts, 46), Riis, Maguire.

Final 30 XI: Hudson, Storey, Lindsay, Cunningham, Rafferty (Seary, 79), Bayliss, Ledson, Barkhuizen, Potts, Sinclair, Evans.

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