Preston North End and AFC Bournemouth shared the spoils on a chilly afternoon at Deepdale, but Jonathan Woodgate will probably be disappointed that his side don’t travel back to the south coast with all three points.
The Cherries dominated the first half and deservedly led through Arnaut Danjuma’s effort.
But they didn’t make that initial dominance pay and Daniel Johnson made them pay the price with 20 minutes to go with his fourth goal of the season.
The opening parts of the game didn’t provide much quality, with the visitors having the best chance which fell to defender Lloyd Kelly.
The Bournemouth number five had a left-footed effort just inside the box, but big Dane Daniel Iversen got down well to his right to deny the left-back.
It was all Bournemouth in the first half as they set up camp in the North End half, with the hosts seemingly happy to try and wait for them to slip up and hit them on the counter, much like they did in the reverse fixture.
If not for Iversen, the Lilywhites probably would’ve been a few goals down at the break.
He stopped a powerful Jefferson Lerma effort on 26 minutes, and got down well yet again five minutes later to deny Arnaut Danjuma from breaking the deadlock.
Bournemouth did though make a deserved breakthrough on 37 minutes. Dominic Solanke uses his experience to out-battle North End centre-back Jordan Storey, which left him with an easy pass to set up Arnaut Danjuma, who fired it beyond Iversen from close range.
For all of the Cherries’ first half dominance though, they could’ve been level at the interval.
In their first meaningful attack of the half on 40 minutes, Tom Barkhuizen broke down the right-hand side before delivering an inviting cross – one that Ched Evans was millimetres from getting his head to – and PNE skipper Alan Browne fluffed his lines at the back post after getting the ball stuck under his foot.
The second half saw Bournemouth not threaten as much as they did in the opening interval, with PNE chasing an equaliser and getting their foot on the ball more.
Barkhuizen showed his first real burst of explosiveness to get away from the Cherries back-line on 61 minutes, but he was matched for quickness by Cameron Carter-Vickers, who managed to block his attempt on goal.
North End did get their goal though with 20 minutes remaining.
Steve Cook’s poor clearance fell to Daniel Johnson, who drove forward until he was 20 yards from goal and his left-footed effort proved too much for Begovic as it nestled in the bottom corner.
PNE looked the team more likely to find the winner as well – and Ben Whiteman almost found the back of the net with a powerful, curling effort from the edge of the box, but Begovic got a strong hand to tip it over the bar.
That was the last real chance of the game as both sides had to settle for just a point – one that North End will probably be far happier with than the Cherries.
FULL TIME – Preston North End 1-1 AFC Bournemouth (Johnson 70′ – Danjuma 37′)