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Immediate Reaction: Preston North End 2-2 Bolton Wanderers

Wanderers fight back from 2-0 to continue an unbeaten away record

West Bromwich Albion v Bolton Wanderers - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Wanderers remained unbeaten away from home with a stunning 2 goal fight back against Preston North End. It was a game that had every aspect expected from a local derby including goals, a fightback and passion from both teams which culminated in a spot of ‘handbags’ at the final whistle.

Phil Parkinson named a changed side from our most recent game against Sheffield United. Andrew Taylor replaced Johnathan Grounds at left back, Gary O’Neil and Joe Williams, making his debut came in for Luke Murphy and Josh Vela with Yanic Wildschut replacing Will Buckley. The full line up was as follows. Ben Alnwick, Pawel Olkowski, David Wheater, Mark Beevers, Andrew Taylor, Gary O’Neil, Jason Lowe, Joe Williams, Sammy Ameobi, Yanic Wildschut, Josh Magennis.

The first half started evenly contested but for a careless Wildschut back pass which let Preston in to score their first on 11 minutes. 5 minutes later it was 2-0 thanks to a wonderful shot from Browne whom was needlessly left in acres of space. All appeared to be lost with such a large deficit so early in the game and so a signature, Sammy Ameobi screamer 7 minutes before half time gave Wanderers a badly needed lifeline. They capitalised on this lifeline within two minutes of Ameobi’s strike with Pawl Olkowski drawing Wanderers level. The second half saw Wanderers searching for the winner but in vain. Preston too, threatened but it would finish 2-2. There was a clash after the 90 minutes started by Pearson of Preston and Joe Williams. Pearson would eventually see a red card whilst Williams received a yellow.

I must confess that I am very happy with that point. Preston, despite going 2-0 up never looked deserving of the score line. They scored through a Wanderers mistake and a spectacular long range shot. Whilst Wanderers’ defence could have reacted to both of these with more competence than they did they were reliant on a good slice of luck.

As for positives you needn’t look any further than our right side. Pawel Olkowski and Sammy Ameobi scored both the goals and it was no more than they deserved, Pav’ in particular. Their attacking interplay was a joy to behold at times and looked to be the only credible threat. Pav’ looks like he is a level above at the moment and I’d be paying him all we can to keep him here for as long as possible.

Joe Williams also looked the business. Works hard, comfortable on the ball (once we started playing it on the deck), aggressive, good range of passing and great in the tackle. He fills a very similar role to that of Josh Vela and on the basis of this performance, Vela might struggle to get his spot back.

Overall I can’t fault a point here. It means we stay in the top 6 over the international break and it’s mightily impressive given we were 2-0 with 15 minutes on the clock. I look forward to seeing how long this team can keep this up. COYWM!