PNE were denied all three points by former loanee Adam Reach who fired home in the dying embers to snatch a 1-1 draw for Sheffield Wednesday at Deepdale.
Preston took a deserved lead through Cunningham’s deflected cross in the 77th minute, but were denied all three points as midfielder Reach fired home his first goal for the club with seconds to spare.
The home faithful called for a penalty as Callum Robinson poked the ball past keeper Keiren Westwood and went to ground, there was very little contact from the former Sunderland man however.
Two minutes later and Robinson was involved again, as his effort from 25 yards was tipped onto the post by Westwood.
Another shot from distance for Preston came shortly after, this time by Gallagher. However, the midfielder was leaning back as he shot and his effort was way over.
The first real chance of the game came in the 22nd minute, as a decent cross from Robinson down the left found the head of Simon Makienok, who headed wide unopposed inside the six- yard box.
It took 44 minutes for Sheffield Wednesday to have their first shot, as Atdhe Nuhiu swung his boot at a volley from range, but the ball was way over.
As the referee’s whistle went it was like New Year had come early, with neither side creating many chances the first half was dull to say the least.
However, ‘football is a game of two halves’ and the second half burst into life.
Five minutes into the second half a Daniel Johnson ball in was headed down to Alex Baptiste, but the defender couldn’t control his shot and the ball flew over.
Not long after and the away side produced a chance of their own, former Aston Villa man Barry Bannan worked himself some space and floated the ball in for Steven Fletcher who headed wide via a deflection. The referee awarded a goal-kick though to the surprise of everyone in the ground however.
Less than five minutes later and North End nearly took the lead. McGeady’s cross was spilled at the back post by Westwood, but the Wednesday keeper saved the rebound from Gallagher.
With twenty minutes left the home side had the ball in the net, however the assistant’s flag was raised for offside against Jordan Hugill and Callum Robinson.
It was Preston who produced the next chance of the game too, Robinson’s shot from range was spilled by Westwood, but he grabbed it at the second attempt.
North End finally made their dominance count shortly after, as McGeady tricked his way past a defender and played the ball through for Cunningham. The defender’s cross was then deflected in to give PNE the lead thirteen minutes from time.
The Whites nearly doubled their lead with 81 minutes on the clock, as McGeady curled a shot onto the post with his weaker foot from range.
Wednesday’s first chance for nearly half an hour came four minutes from time. David Jones skipped over the challenge of Gallagher and got the shot in. No trouble for Preston keeper Chris Maxwell though as it was way over.
Just as the Lilywhites thought they’d secured all three points Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Adam Reach fired home, after a goalmouth scramble with seconds to go of the match. The away fans couldn’t contain their delight as some made their way onto the pitch.
PNE will be scratching their heads, wondering how they’ve come away from the game with one point not three. The away side scored from their first shot on target and North End dominated shots and chances created.
However, there is only one statistic that matters, and that is the number of goals scored. Preston North End One, Sheffield Wednesday one.
North End’s next game is away at Burton Albion on Monday night. Simon Grayson will no doubt be looking for a similar performance from his team, but will be looking for more resilience to avoid another late equaliser.