Europa Conference League final previewMay 24 | 4 min read
Ten-man Preston battle back to share the points with Sheffield United
North End earned a 2-2 draw with goals from Alan Browne and Emil Riis.
Ten-man Preston pulled off a sensational second-half comeback as they came from behind to draw 2-2 with Sheffield United at Deepdale.
The hosts looked down and out after Jayden Bogle and Billy Sharp scored for the Blades before half-time, while Andrew Hughes was dismissed.
But Ryan Lowe’s side were far from dead and buried and they staged a dramatic turnaround late on, grabbing a point thanks to goals from Alan Browne and Emil Riis.
Both goalkeepers were called into action in the early exchanges, with Wes Foderingham denying Preston’s Scott Sinclair at one end and then Daniel Iversen tipping away Iliman Ndiaye’s low effort at the other.
The Blades were not to be deterred though and they scored with their next meaningful attack when John Egan’s bullet header was well saved, only for the ball to fall straight to Bogle.
The 21-year old was on the edge of the area, but he had only one thing on his mind and smashed a low drive through a forest of legs and into the back of the net.
That was United’s first goal for nearly five hours of football and they would add a second before the break after Rhian Brewster raced through on goal before being hauled down by Hughes.
The defender was shown a straight red card for his troubles and to rub salt into the wounds, Sharp stepped up to resoundingly lash home the resulting spot-kick and double the lead.
Both teams continued on the front foot after the break, with Ndiaye and Browne seeing good efforts well saved at either end.
Brewster was then guilty of not putting the game to bed as he wasted a pair of golden opportunities, twice failing to test the keeper from close range when in plenty of space.
That left the door open for a Preston fightback, and even with 10 men they held plenty of menace going forward.
Daniel Johnson and Riis both drew saves out of Foderingham before they halved the deficit with 19 minutes remaining as Browne calmly converted from 10 yards after being well picked out by Johnson.
That gave North End the momentum and as the visitors retreated towards their 18-yard box, Preston looked the most likely to score next.
Lowe called upon ex-Blade Ched Evans in the search for an equaliser and the striker duly delivered an assist by teeing up Riis to dramatically prod home from close range to make it 2-2 in the dying minutes.
The result leaves both teams locked in mid-table on 33 points, though Sheffield United move into the top half on goal difference.