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Match Reports

Preston North End 1 AFC Bournemouth 1

6 March 2021

A second half goal from Daniel Johnson gave the Lilywhites a deserved point against Jonathan Woodgate’s Bournemouth.

First Team News

DJ Contemplates North End’s Balancing Act

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The Cherries took the lead late in the first half, when Arnaut Danjuma fired home from Dominic Solanke’s pass, but Johnson curled home an equaliser with 20 minutes left.

It was a game of two halves, with the visitors forcing a number of fine saves from Daniel Iversen in the opening period, but North End the dominant force in the second 45 minutes.

The team saw four changes, with Andrew Hughes missing with a shoulder problem, resulting in a recall for Paul Huntington, whilst Johnson, Tom Barkhuizen and the returning captain Alan Browne replaced Brad Potts, Anthony Gordon and Jayson Molumby in the starting XI.

The first of the fine stops from PNE's Danish international loanee goalkeeper came after ten minutes, when the ball was pulled back to Lloyd Kelly to have a free shot at goal from 15 yards out, but the big stopper got quickly down to his right to keep the ball out of the bottom corner.

With 26 minutes gone Jefferson Lerma found space to fire in a shot from the left-hand corner of penalty area, but a two-handed stop from the No.22 kept it out and five minutes later he was needed again, this time to deny Danjuma at the near post after a run down the left.

But with eight minutes to go until half-time, the visitors took the lead when Solanke took the ball in a 50/50 aerial challenge, before playing a slide-rule pass for the run of Danjuma, who fired into the top right-hand corner from 12 yards.

This was practically the last chance of the game for the south coast side, as even before half-time it was PNE who had an opportunity to draw level, Barkhuizen breaking down the right, fed by Ched Evans, and the winger put a great ball across for the front man’s continuing run and then Browne at the back post couldn’t quite connect properly with a left-foot effort.

The second half was one-way traffic. It started with an early chance when Jordan Storey fired a half-volley just over the bar after a Ben Whiteman free kick from the right was eventually headed down by Evans.

On the our mark a long ball from Whiteman was flicked on by Evans and Barkhuizen raced onto it, but saw his shot blocked by Cameron Carter-Vickers, before seconds later another long ball to Evans in the right corner of the box was well-controlled, but his shot was deflected over the bar by Kelly. From the resulting corner Huntington’s header was cleared off the line by Lerma.

But the equaliser deservedly came on 71 minutes. A Browne ball from his own half in behind, saw Evans put pressure on the Bournemouth skipper Steve Cook, who made a poor clearance, which was collected by Johnson, who drove forward and curled into the bottom left corner from 20 yards out for his fifth goal of the season.

Sean Maguire had just returned from a month out, along with the introduction of Anthony Gordon for the final 25 minutes and good play between Johnson, Maguire and Sepp van den Berg down the right, saw the ball worked for the latter to get away a shot, which was blocked for a corner by Lerma.

The last real chance of the game came with seven minutes left, as Whiteman saw a shot from the left-hand corner of area tipped over the bar by Asmir Begovic after the same man’s corner had caused havoc in the penalty area, but in the end both sides ended with a point.

PNE line-up: Iversen, van den Berg, Cunningham, Whiteman, Storey, Huntington, Sinclair (Gordon, 66), Browne (c), Evans, Johnson (Potts, 84), Barkhuizen (Maguire, 66). Subs not used: Ripley, Bayliss, Gallagher, Rafferty, Riis, Molumby.

AFC Bournemouth line-up: Begovic, S Cook (c), Kelly, Lerma, Solanke, Danjuma, Smith L Cook (Long, 75), Carter-Vickers, Stanislas (Wilshere, 83), Pearson. Subs not used: Travers, Mepham, Stacey, Riquelme, Kilkenny, Anthony, Zemura.

Referee: Mr J Gillett


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