Saints 1-1 Preston North End
13th July 2021
A second half David Wotherspoon goal saw Saints draw 1-1 with English Championship side Preston North End at McDiarmid Park this evening.
Saints started brightly but it was the Deepdale side who took the lead on 35 minutes as Ben Whiteman sent a stunning strike into the top corner of the net.
Saints though levelled the match 5 minutes into the second half courtesy of a curling David Wotherspoon effort.
Wotherspoon then had a chance to get a second for Saints on 54 minutes from the penalty spot but he blasted his effort high into the Ormond Stand.
Both sides made changes as the match progressed but it continued to be competitive with Saints more than a match for the Championship side.
Saints welcomed English Championship side Preston North End to McDiarmid Park this evening for a pre-season friendly. Saints were also able to welcome back 1,000 Saints fans to the game this evening. This was the first in which Saints fans were able to attend a game at McDiarmid Park since March 2020 as the 1,000 lucky season ticket holders were given a ticket for the match after being successful in a season ticket holders ballot.
Sean Maguire got the match underway for the visitors but Saints started the match well as they controlled possession for large spells, limiting Preston to very little.
On 17 minutes good play by Saints saw the ball played into the Preston box to the unmarked Ali McCann and the Northern Ireland internationalist took a touch before having a shot at goal but his strike was blocked by the North End defence. The loose ball then broke to Stevie May but the Saints number 7 saw his effort blocked before Shaun Rooney latched onto the loose ball but his effort was deflected behind for a corner. David Wotherspoon took the corner and his deep delivery into the box picked out Liam Gordon but his header was gathered by Preston keeper Matthew Hudson.
Saints continued to create chances and 3 minutes later Wotherspoon sent over a great ball from the left, picking out Rooney but his sliding effort was cleared by Patrick Bauer.
Saints were looking very sharp and competitive and May won Saints a free kick on 23 minutes. It was taken by Wotherspoon however, his delivery into the box was headed clear.
Zander Clark was called into action on 27 minutes as he parried a Josh Harrop effort and Jamie McCart was on hand to comfortably clear the loose ball.
With 10 minutes of the first half remaining Ben Whiteman opened the scoring for Preston as his effort from 25 yards went in off the underside of the bar.
The Deepdale side created another chance 4 minutes later but Matthew Olosunde put his header wide.
Then right on half time the Lancashire side were awarded free kick in an inviting position after Emil Riis was fouled by Murray Davidson. Whiteman took the free kick and his effort was parried by Clark and the ball broke to Joe Rafferty but he put his header over.
5 minutes into the second half Saints levelled the match. Great play by O’Halloran saw him close down a clearance by Hudson and the ball broke to Wotherspoon who curled a lovely effort past a defender and into the bottom corner of the empty net.
Callum Davidson’s side was then given a great opportunity to take the lead as they were awarded a penalty on 54 minutes after O’Halloran had been fouled by Bauer. Wotherspoon took the penalty but the Canadian internationalist blasted his effort high into the Ormond Stand.
On the hour mark Saints created another chance but Halloran was unable to get his flicked effort on target.
Both sides then made a host of changes as Saints brought on James Brown, Reece Devine, Hayden Muller, Callum Hendry and Liam Craig. They replaced Shaun Rooney, Callum Booth, Jamie McCart, Stevie May and Murray Davidson.
Then shortly after Callum Davidson made another couple of changes as he looked to give all his players some minutes on the pitch as Cammy Ballantyne and Jordan Northcott replaced Ali McCann and David Wotherspoon.
On 77 minutes Tom Barkhuizen sent over a good cross from the left picking Ched Evans but the forward couldn’t direct his header on target.
Then a minute later Brad Potts was booked by referee Nick Walsh for a poor challenge on James Brown. Callum Hendry soon followed in Walsh’s book shortly after for a foul on former Partick Thistle Liam Lindsay.
With a couple of minutes remaining Saints made one final change as Max Kucheriavyi, who recently signed a three-year deal, came on to replace Michael O’Halloran.
Overall, it was a good performance by Saints who looked sharp and as the players left the field at full time the returning Saints fans showed their appreciation.
Saints: Clark, Rooney (Brown 61), Kerr, McCart (Muller 61), Gordon, Booth (Devine 61), Wotherspoon (Northcott 72), Davidson (Craig 61), McCann (Ballantyne 72), O’Halloran (Kucheriavyi 88), May (Hendry 61)
Unused Substitutes: Parish (GK), Denham, Moreland
Scorer: Wotherspoon (50)
Preston North End: Hudson, van den Berg (Storey 61), Earl (Lindsay 61), Bauer (Cunningham 61), Harrop (Potts 45), Olosunde (Barkhuizen 45), Rafferty (Seary 79), Whiteman (Bayliss 61), Riss (Ledson 61), Maguire (Sinclair 61), Leigh (Evans 61)
Scorer: Whiteman (35)
Referee: Nick Walsh
Match Report by Daryl Scott
Picture: David Wotherspoon celebrates his goal with Shaun Rooney