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Report: A competitive Lancashire friendly ends in a stalemate

25 July 2023

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Fleetwood Town played out another goalless draw, this time against Championship outfit Preston North End at Highbury Stadium on Tuesday evening.

It was the visitors Preston who started off on the brighter foot and had the first chance of the game when Will Keane twisted his man and got his shot away – it was well blocked by the Town defense.

Fleetwood keeper Jay Lynch was called into action after just six minutes. After a lovely move in the final third, the ball was whipped into the box for former Blackpool man, Brad Potts – whose clever flick towards goal made Lynch react low to his left-hand post.

Keane was causing problems inside Town’s penalty box and had a half chance with a header from Potts’ cross, but he could only guide it over the bar.

Following a tackle on Ryan Broom, Phoenix Patterson lined up a free-kick from 25-yards and like many at sister club Waterford FC have seen, he got it up and over the and arrowing into the top corner. Credit to North End keeper David Cornell, who just managed to parry it away to safety.

With half an hour on the clock, Preston worked the ball again in their final third. After an overlap on the right-flank, the ball was pulled back to summer signing Mads Frokjaer who must have thought he opened the scoring, but his low drive was blocked on its way by Brendan Wiredu.

Despite the Championship sides dominance, Scott Brown's men still continued to create chances. With Patterson on the corners, both Toto Nsiala and Promise Omochere went close, they couldn't direct their headers on target.

With Ryan Lowe making seven changes for the start of the second half, it was a very different looking Preston side. Town also made a chage, with Shaun Rooney replacing Carl Johnston at right back.

Town's latest recruit Ryan Graydon thought he had opened the scoring in the 55th minute. After latching onto Omochere's pass, the Irish forward darted into the box and as he went to pull the trigger, Greg Cunningham came to the rescue to toe the ball out for a corner.

In the middle of changes for both sides, Ryan Broom saw straight red after a late tackle on Lewis Leigh, and then three minutes later, substitute Josh Seary also saw a straight red for a very late and dangerous tackle on Junior Quitirna.

The game settled down after a mad 5-10 minutes in the second half, but there was one last chance for the hosts to win it against the Championship side when summer signing Maleace Asamoah got the ball on the bicycle-kick, but only dragged it wide.

Town XI: Lynch (GK), Johnston (Rooney, 46'), Wiredu, Robertson (Teale, 80'), Vela (Mayor, 62'), Broom, Graydon (Asamoah, 80'), Omochere (Quitirna 62, Glenfield, 71'), Nsiala, Earl (Johnson, 80'), Patterson (Hayes, 72').

Subs not used: McMullan (GK), Holgate.

North End (First-half): Cornell (GK), Lindsey ©, Keane, Frokjaer, Storey, Hughes, Stewart, Holmes, Leigh, Best, Potts.

North End (Second-half): Cornell (GK) Cunningham, Bauer (Seary, 66'), Woodburn, Diaby, Rodriquez-Gentile, Taylor, Leigh (Kamara, 63'), Best (Pasiek, 75'), Mawene, Potts (Ramsay, 63').

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