Preston and Sunderland share points in enthralling encounter

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Sky Bet Championship

Preston North End 2-2 Sunderland

Harrop 55 Hugill 57     Honeyman 28 McGeady 59

Preston North End and Sunderland shared the points in an enthralling encounter at Deepdale today. George Honeyman took the lead for the visitors with a well-worked goal 28 minutes in before there were three goals in the space of four minutes coming from Preston’s Josh Harrop and Jordan Hugill and former Preston loanee Aiden McGeady.

Both sides had a good start to the game and it was very end-to-end initially. In the 16th minute the hosts came close when Tom Barkhuizen beat his man and put in a good ball towards Alan Browne whose effort was blocked in its tracks by Tyias Browning. It appeared to be a handball, but the referee didn’t agree with this.

Ten minutes later, Sunderland’s George Honeyman fired wide of the mark on the end of a corner.

The winger was involved in the action again just two minutes later. James Vaughan held the ball up well to lay it off to the 23-year-old who linked up well with Lynden Gooch before smashing the ball into the top corner to put Simon Grayson’s side in front.

The visitors dominated much of the first half, with Lee Cattermole bossing the midfield. Aiden McGeady also looked bright for the visitors and he fired the ball just over the bar three minutes from half time.

Preston started the second half brightly, and Tom Barkhuizen came close for them seven minutes in. Jordan Hugill made a great run through the Sunderland defence but his pass towards the unmarked winger was too powerful for him.

Alex Neil’s side continued their great start to the second half moments later when Josh Harrop equalised with a brilliant free kick in from the left that made its way into the bottom-right corner.

By the 57th minute, the hosts were 2-1 up. Alan Browne made it through the Sunderland defence and Browning’s clearance only made it to Jordan Hugill whose powerful strike beat Jason Steele and sent the home fans wild.

Preston’s lead only lasted two minutes however as their former fans’ favourite Aiden McGeady retrieved the ball well from a defender and buried the ball past Maxwell to put the visitors back in the game.

The excitement continued as Alan Browne then hit the crossbar for the hosts in the 61st minute.

Sunderland looked to push for a crucial winner, and they came fairly close in the 73rd minute when George Honeyman’s cross was headed wide of the mark by James Vaughan.

The visitors’ best chance to win the game came ten minutes later when substitute Duncan Watmore kept the ball in and gifted the ball to Cattermole whose effort at an open goal was blocked and out for a corner.

A lack of communication between Watmore and McGeady led to the former heading the ball wide from close range in the 86th minute, and then three minutes later the impressive Lee Cattermole found an opening and made a darting run but his low cross couldn’t quite reach Watmore and the game ended in a draw.

Despite a very valuable point away to Preston North End, Sunderland drop to 23rd whilst Preston drop one place to sixth ahead of the international break.

Preston North End: Maxwell, Fisher, Huntington (c), Davies, Earl, Johnson, Browne, Barkhuizen (69), Harrop, Maguire (Robinson 88), Hugill (Mavididi 77).

Booked: Fisher

Unused subs: Hudson, Vermijl, Woods, Spurr.

Sunderland: Steele, Jones (Oviedo 70), Browning, O’Shea, Matthews, N’Dong, Cattermole (c), McGeady, Honeyman (Williams 84), Gooch (Watmore 64), Vaughan.

Booked: Steele

Unused subs: Ruiter, McManaman, Kone, Gibson.

Attendance: 17,621 (2,900 away)



Preston and Forest share points in entertaining encounter

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Sky Bet Championship

Preston North End 1-1 Nottingham Forest

McGeady 52                  Assombalonga 22

Preston North End shared the points with Championship strugglers Nottingham Forest in an entertaining encounter at Deepdale today. Britt Assombalonga opened the scoring in the 22nd minute for the visitors with a sublime finish, whilst Aiden McGeady equalised early in the second half with a well composed finish.

The home side made a very good start to the game, with Paul Gallagher coming close within the first minute. The midfielder cut through the defence, and his powerful shot was tipped over by the keeper.

Five minutes later Simon Grayson’s side tested the Forest defence again, with Tom Barkhuizen hitting the away team on the break. He found himself with only the keeper to beat, but his shot went straight at the keeper. Just moments later, Barkhuizen’s fellow forward Jordan Hugill came close with a shot going just over the bar after cutting in from the left-hand side.

Daryl Horgan also came close for the home side in the 11th minute, but his shot was deflected and went out for a corner.

Nottingham Forest had their first chance of the game two minutes later, when Ben Osborn’s header on the end of a good ball went just over the bar.

The away side came close again in the 19th minute when Ben Brereton’s header was caught by Maxwell – who nearly went over his line with the ball. Forest then found themselves in front three minutes later through Britt Assombalonga. Former Bolton midfielder Zach Clough did much of the work for the goal, making a great run before playing a good through ball to Assombalonga who was able to slot the ball past Maxwell in the bottom-left corner.

The away side’s lead very nearly lasted just ten minutes. Forest’s keeper Jordan Smith managed to fumble the ball after it came in from the right-hand side, but luckily for him Eric Lichaj was able to make a last ditch clearance in order to prevent Aiden McGeady from getting his name on the scoresheet for the time being.

Just before half time, Nottingham Forest could have doubled their lead. Ben Brereton made a cracking run with the ball, finding himself one-on-one with Maxwell only for the keeper to save the shot with his legs. Warburton’s side deservedly led 1-0 at the break.

Preston made a swift start to the second half, making two half-time substitutions and changing their shape. The plan appeared to be working, as the side were looking more threatening going forward. Four minutes into the second half, Tom Barkhuizen had a powerful shot going just over the bar.

Three minutes later, the home side were back in the game. It was Aiden McGeady who got himself on the scoresheet for Simon Grayson’s side, latching on the end of a good ball and burying the ball past the keeper in the bottom left corner.

Nottingham Forest came close on two occasions shortly after the goal, with Zach Clough’s shot going wide in the 57th minute and Ben Osborn’s powerful shot going just wide of the goal five minutes later.

Callum Robinson had a chance for Preston in the 70th minute, cutting in from the left hand side only for his shot to go straight at the keeper. Two minutes later, PNE came close to scoring again. Centre-back Paul Huntington forced Smith into a great save to his right with a powerful header on the end of a great cross from Paul Gallagher.

Little was to come after this, and the game could’ve gone either way. Forest had one last chance at the end of the game to get a winner, but the free kick went well over the bar.

Following the draw, Preston sit in 8th and face Bristol City at home on Tuesday night whilst Forest are in 20th place just two points above the drop zone.

Preston North End: Maxwell 7, Clarke (c) 7, Boyle 5 (Baptiste 45), Huntington 6, Cunningham 6, Horgan 6 (Robinson 45), Gallagher 7 (Browne 84), Pearson 6, McGeady 8, Barkhuizen 6, Hugill 5.

Sub ratings: Robinson 7, Baptiste 6, Browne n/a

Booked: Boyle, Pearson, Robinson

Subs not used: Lindegaard, Beckford, Spurr, May.

Nottingham Forest: Smith 7, Lichaj 7, Worrall 7, Fox 6, Pinillos 6, Vaughan 7, Clough 8 (Cash 73), Cohen 7, Osborn 7, Brereton 8 (Ward 62), Assombalonga 7 (Vellios 73).

Sub ratings: Ward 7, Vellios 6, Cash 5

Booked: Lichaj, Fox, Pinillos.

Subs not used: Mancienne, Tshibola, Carayol, Evtimov (GK).

Attendance: 12,459