Tranmere boss Ronnie Moore believes teenage forward Jake Cassidy was the one shining light as Rovers rescued a 1-1 draw against Preston - admitting he needs to find him a strike partner.
Cassidy, 19, grabbed his 10th goal of the season with just five minutes to go to seal a draw for Tranmere, who have now not won in three but remain top of League One.
Paul Huntington had earlier given Preston a deserved lead after 50 minutes, heading into an empty net when Jeffrey Monakana's cross came back off the crossbar, and Jack King should have made it two to kill the game off.
"We were poor," Moore said. "I thought it was men against boys at times. They were big and strong but we dug in there because everything that we could be bad at we were.
"We got the break and we had a little bit of luck because the lad (King) really should have killed it when he went clean through. We didn't get the luck on Tuesday against Doncaster but we got the luck here.
"Jake led the line well. He never gives in and he's not afraid to miss, and in strikers if you're afraid to miss then you're in trouble. He needs to get the right partner alongside him because it's hard when you're battling away and we're asking him to beat 6ft 5in lads in the air but he won a lot of headers."
Graham Westley agreed with Moore that North End were the better side but he was left bemoaning what he felt should have been a Preston penalty after Ash Taylor appeared to handle Stuart Beavon's header on the line.
"I don't make a habit of feeling hard done by, but if you get a stonewall penalty where they will go down to 10 men in the same incident, it's tough when that happens because we'd earned the right to the goal," Westley said.
"In the second half, in terms of chances, we could have won it much more convincingly, but if you're not ruthless with your play then you can pay the price. The way we'll look at it is with a lot of positives. We've come to the league leaders and dominated the game and we'll take a lot of confidence from that.
"But we'll also have a sense of learning that we haven't showed enough ruthlessness to kill the game off and going forward we need to add that killer instinct to what we're doing. We're a long way further forward from where we were at the start of the season and we're starting to look like a useful side."