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Match Report: Preston North End 1 Leicester City 1

Posted: Sat 02 Aug 2014
Author: Leicester City

Read a full match report of the pre-season friendly game between Preston North End and Leicester City at Deepdale on Saturday 2 August, 2014.

- City remain unbeaten in pre-season after competitive 1-1 draw at Deepdale
- Liam Moore scores a stunning opening goal in the first half
- Kasper Schmeichel and Paul Konchesky complete 90 minutes while 18 other players feature

Leicester City’s preparation for the new Barclays Premier League season continued with a competitive 1-1 draw against Preston North End at Deepdale.

A spectacular first-half strike from defender Liam Moore had given Nigel Pearson’s side a half-time lead against a Preston team just a week away from their opening fixture of the Football League season.

But a stooping header from defender Tom Clarke just before the hour-mark ensured a share of the spoils for Simon Grayson’s League 1 outfit.

The result may have ended the Foxes’ run of three straight wins in pre-season, but there will be little to concern Pearson and his staff, with several members of the squad still finding sharpness a fortnight before the big kick-off against Everton.

Their preparation will step up a notch at MK Dons on Monday and Rotherham United on Tuesday, before the pre-season campaign comes to a close against Werder Bremen at King Power Stadium next Saturday.

The search for match fitness and pitch time saw Pearson essentially switch his available personnel from Wednesday night’s win at Walsall, with Matty James, Jamie Vardy and Leo Ulloa among those brought into the starting XI.

A week ahead of the Foxes in their preparations for the new season, the hosts started brightly, making use of both flanks to stretch the City defence, but being brought to halt once they penetrated dangerous areas. Both Ritchie De Laet and James made timely interventions in the early stages.

At the other end, Ulloa showed some skilful touches as City’s lone front-man, while Anthony Knockaert and Gary Taylor-Fletcher sought to scheme from deeper positions.

Though both sides enjoyed plenty of early possession, it took 25 minutes for either to fashion a chance. When it came, and was magnificently dispatched, the identity of the scorer raised more than a few eyebrows.

Credit to Taylor-Fletcher, who stretched to hook a deep Paul Konchesky cross back into the danger-zone, but an adventurously advancing Moore still had his work cut out. The chest control was immaculate and the 15-yard volley faded majestically past the stretching Jamie Jones, whose fingertips succeeded in only nudging the ball in via his right-hand post.

It knocked a little of the confidence out of the men in white, while City, despite seeing Vardy make a precautionary early exit, slipped into a comfortable spell of possession that settled the game down. The hosts, however, gathered themselves for a spurt in the build-up to the break, which saw Moore show his qualities at the other end.

Shortly after Scott Laird had sent a long-range shot skidding past Schmeichel’s left-hand post, the Preston wide-man evaded three City challenges to set Kevin Davies through the centre on 39 minutes.

It looked a guilt-edged chance for the former Bolton Wanderers striker, who wound up to pull the trigger with only Schmeichel to beat, but was denied by the rapidly recovering Moore, sliding in to block just when Davies looked beyond him.

Three changes at the interval gave Preston some fresh impetus and they weathered a decent City spell just after the break to level on 57 minutes. Will Hayhurst whipped a free-kick from the right just beyond Schmeichel’s reach and Clarke stooped to head home at the far post.

The home side might have turned things around completely a minute later had John Welsh managed to beat Schmeichel from close range after controlling a cross from the left, but the Dane was out quickly to thwart the Preston captain.

The introduction of David Nugent and Chris Wood saw Leicester switch to a 4-4-2, while a further five changes 10 minutes later gave the visitors a fresh look for the closing stages.

Nugent, given a great reception at the home of the club with which he made his name, carved out a headed chance for Wood on 72 minutes, but the New Zealand international striker could not get enough on his glancing attempt.

The recently introduced Andy King worked replacement ‘keeper Thorsten Stuckmann with a decent header from Konchesky’s cross 11 minutes from time, before a dangerous run from Mahrez almost set up Marc Albrighton with five to go.

But a draw and, more importantly, the minutes played gave both sides something to take into challenges ahead, which, for City, begins at stadiummk on Monday night.

Preston (4-2-3-1): Jones (Stuckman 61); Woods (Wiseman 46), Clarke (Keane 61), Wright, Buchanan (Hayhurst 46); King, Brownhill (Browne 46 (Byrom 78)); Humphrey (B. Davies 61), Welsh (c) (Garner 78), Laird (Little 61); K. Davies (Hugill 61).

Goals: Clarke 57

City (4-2-3-1): Schmeichel (c); De Laet (McCourt 78), Wasilewski (Morgan 70), Moore (Kennedy 70), Konchesky; James (King 70), Drinkwater (Hammond 70); Knockaert (Albrighton 70), Taylor-Fletcher (Nugent 62), Vardy (Mahrez 34); Ulloa (Wood 62).

Unused subs: Logan.

Goals: Moore 25

Referee: D. Handley
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