Preston North End and Stoke City shared the spoils at Deepdale on a cold night in Lancashire – the end result being PNE’s fifth league draw in a row.
There was an early goal in this encounter and it went the way of the Potters, as Mario Vrancic’s inch-perfect cross was met by the unmarked head of Nick Powell to give the visitors a seventh minute lead.
It was almost doubled just minutes later, with Tommy Smith testing Daniel Iversen in the North End goal from range but the Dane expertly tipped the ball over the crossbar.
Emil Riis had PNE’s first chance but that was fired across goal and not on target, with the next best chance going to the away side who really should have doubled their advantage.
Quiz: Have Preston North End ever been involved in these 18 scenarios?
It was Powell again who should have doubled Stoke’s advantage and notched a brace of his own as the ball fell kindly to him from 12 yards out, but the massive outstretched hand of Daniel Iversen denied what looked to be a certain goal.
Despite Stoke having the better of the half, it was North End who grabbed the equaliser before half-time and it was a thunderbolt by Ben Whiteman.
The hosts won a free kick just outside the box and PNE’s number 4 produced a stunning strike which caught Adam Davies in the Potters goal off-guard as it headed into the back of the net.
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North End started the second half on the front foot and they almost took the lead with an outrageous strike from Greg Cunningham.
The Republic of Ireland international let rip from 30 yards but his effort whistled just inches past the top corner.
Stoke had a sensational opportunity to re-take the lead halfway through the second half as the ball fell to wing-back Josh Tymon in the penalty area, however his close-range effort from around six yards out was once again denied by Iversen who stuck out an arm to deny the youngster.
There was much scrappiness at both ends of the pitch in the final quarter of the match and a real lack of cutting edge as neither side could find the winning goal, with North End drawing their fifth league match in succession.
FULL TIME: Preston North End 1-1 Stoke City