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Match Report

 

Posted Tue 15 Dec 15 at 22:16 PM

Report: Preston North End 1 Blues 1

Michael Morrison’s 67th minute goal earned Blues a point at Deepdale, but it could have been much more.

Adam Reach gave Preston the lead after 19 minutes, but it’ll be Blues who’ll be disappointed after having a host of late chances.

Jordan Pickford made several outstanding saves as Blues pushed the hosts on the back foot for most of the second half.

The first-half started with a bang as Tomasz Kuszczak came rushing out to try and punch Paul Gallagher’s free-kick, but he missed and clattered Tom Clarke.

This caused a break in play that certainly didn’t help a half that was relatively quiet.

Demarai Gray showed great pace to beat Marnick Vermijl down the left, but his cross to Andrew Shinnie from just inside the area was inches behind him.

And Preston went close as Reach kept Gallagher’s corner alive, but Alan Browne’s header at the far post drifted wide.

Gray again showed tremendous speed to beat Daniel Johnson. Jonathan Grounds won the ball and unleashed the winger, who sprinted 40 yards down the left and crossed towards James Vaughan, but it was just cleared.

At a time when Blues were pressing, Preston took the lead.

Reach, who was wide on the right, whipped a low cross that evaded everybody in the area and found the corner. 

Blues responded, but Grounds’ cross to Vaughan was too heavy, whilst Andrew Shinnie and Jacques Maghoma were unable to latch onto a Jordan Pickford fumble.

Neal Eardley went close just after the half hour mark, but after dropping a shoulder and running inside, his effort just rose over the bar.

Kuszczak who’d been quiet since the goal was called into action by Joe Garner, but the ‘keeper did well to react and tip over the striker’s fierce effort.

And Kuszczak was called into action minutes later, but he saved low as Johnson broke from Preston’s half all the way to the edge of the area.

That was the last chance of the half, but things heated up after the break.

Blues immediately started on the front foot with Jon Toral replacing Andrew Shinnie.

Gray, who was causing Vermijl plenty of problems, cut inside twice with Pickford making two excellent low saves.

Blues continued to press and Maghoma went close. Gray’s chipped cross was perfect for the winger, but his header hit the crossbar and was just cleared.

Blues pushed and Pickford again made another excellent save as he tipped Toral’s effort around the post after a clever through pass by Stephen Gleeson.

But immediately from the corner Blues struck.

Morrison rose high at the near post and headed Gleeson’s corner just over the line with a defender trying to clear.

It was what they deserved and Blues searched for a winner.

Jonathan Grounds thought he scored with an excellent effort, but his turn and volley towards goal clipped the post and went wide.

Pickford was again called into action and he made two low saves to stop Vaughan and Morrison in quick succession.

Blues were throwing everything forward and could have won it twice at the death.

Grounds cut inside and fed Toral, but his effort went just inches past the post with the 'keeper beaten.

Blues immediately won the ball back and had their best chance deep into stoppage time.

Demarai Gray raced through on goal with only the ‘keeper to beat, but after drawing Pickford in, he pushed his effort wide of the post.

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