BARNSLEY finally earned a result on the road to match their impressive sequence of returns at Oakwell.
Paul Heckingbottom’s side have beaten Nottingham Forest and Sunderland on home soil this season but had so far struggled to gain any yield on the road, in a string of dire away results dating back to last season.
I’ll take a point from that performance. There was lots in there that we were trying to work on and it made us a lot stronger.Barnsley manager, Paul Heckingbottom
But after Brad Potts cancelled out Sean Maguire’s opener in thid draw at Preston, there was cause for much pride on the bus ride back across the Pennines as Barnsley ended a run of five straight away defeats in the Championship.
Heckingbottom said: “I was pleased with the point. It was a good game, both teams going for it in the end. Lots of good performances from everyone so I’m pleased.
“Everyone in front of (goalkeeper) Adam Davies defended great and he made that one really big save at the end and that’s what we’ve come to expect from him. He’s played his part.
“We could have had more quality in the final third. Their goal sprung us into life.
“We then had a bit more urgency in our play and probably our better chances came on the break at the start of the second half.
“I’ll take a point from that performance. There was lots in there that we were trying to work on and it made us a lot stronger.
“We are getting to the position now where we have 15 or 16 players ready to go and we need to keep working to make sure that all the players are ready to jump in at the drop of a hat. We are pleased with that.”
Maguire, the summer signing from Cork, rose highest to power a header from 12 yards low into the left-hand corner.
But Preston’s joy was short-lived as they conceded their first goal at Deepdale this season three minutes later. Adam Hammill got the better of Josh Earl and crossed low across the six-yard box where Potts bundled home.
Barnsley’s equaliser seemed to take the life out of the hosts and Preston required a goal-line clearance from Darnell Fisher as Ike Ugbo, the on-loan Chelsea striker, prodded goalwards from six yards. Maguire almost grabbed an injury-time winner for Preston but his strike was tipped over by Davies.
Preston North End: Maxwell, Fisher, Huntington, Spurr, Earl, Mavididi (Robinson 78), Browne, Gallagher (Welsh 70), Barkhuizen (Harrop 70), Sean Maguire, Hugill. Unused substitutes: Vermijl, Horgan, Davies, Hudson.
Barnsley: Davies, McCarthy, Jackson, Lindsay, Pearson, Gardner (Moncur 67), Joe Williams, Potts, Hammill (Bradshaw 82), Ugbo, Hedges (Barnes 71). Unused substitutes: Townsend, Pinnock, Thiam, Bird.
Referee: P Bankes (Merseyside).