Patrick Bauer 38


Colby Bishop 45

ACCRINGTON Stanley stepped up their preparations for the new League One season after a 1-1 draw with neighbours Preston North End.

Goals from former Blackburn Rovers target Patrick Bauer and new Stanley striker Colby Bishop sealed the draw in front of the crowd at the Lancashire FA County Ground.

The match was originally scheduled to be Preston against Bolton Wanderers, but the latter had to pull out with their ongoing ownership problems. John Coleman saw this as a chance for his side to step in and get more minutes under their belts.

Preston nearly took the lead in the opening couple of minutes, but some brilliant last ditch defending by Callum Johnson thwarted Louis Malt at the back post after some sharp play from the Championship side.

Alex Neil’s side were the quicker team to settle and almost cut Stanley open again on the 10 minute mark, but captain Seamus Conneely got back with a vital interception.

No one quite knows how the ball stayed out of Stanley’s goal as the Preston attackers flew forward forcing a brilliant save from Dimitar Evtimov and then a goal line clearance from Ross Sykes.

Coleman’s side didn’t have much of the ball in the opening half an hour of the game, but the scores stayed level thanks to some staunch defending from the Reds.

Stanley’s first chance of the half came as Sean McConville cut in from his favoured left hand side and unleashed a right footed effort towards the top corner – Declan Rudd got across well to palm behind for a corner.

The breakthrough came on the 38th minute as Bauer rose highest from a Paul Gallagher cross in from the right to head beyond Evtimov.

Coleman’s men drew level and it was another headed goal, but this time from Bishop. The new Stanley striker got up well at the far post from a Johnson cross and headed back across Rudd’s goal in to the far corner to send his side in level at the half time break.

The second half was a feisty affair and challenges from Sam Finley were flying in. McConville was on the end of a tackle that he didn’t take too kindly to.

Lamine Sherif had one of the best chances in the second half for Coleman’s side as he sprinted in to the box to meet a cross – his header was a bit weak and Rudd gathered easily.

Stanley grew in to the second half well and managed to keep hold of the ball better than they did in the first period but chances were few and far between on a hot night at LFA headquarters.

The team looked fit and sharp as the new season approaches quickly.

Preston North End: Rudd, Rafferty (Fisher), Huntington, Bauer, Earl (Hughes), Ledson, Gallagher, Potts, Ginnelly, Moult, Harrop.

Stanley: Evitrov, Johnson, Maguire, Hughes, Sykes, Conneely, Clarke, Finley, Bishop, Sherif, McConville.

Subs; Savin, Angol, Simmonds, Barclay, Pritchard, Wilson.