Preston cling on with ten men to take point against Swansea

Swansea’s play-off hopes suffered a blow after they were held to a 1-1 draw at Preston despite the home side playing the final nine minutes with ten men after a red card for Josh Earl.

The Welsh side went in level at the break after being frustrated by several good saves by North End keeper Declan Rudd.

They had hit the front ten minutes into the second half when Courtney Baker-Richardson rifled home after Wayne Routledge picked him out.

But the Swans were pegged back just five minutes later when Daniel Johnson kept his nerve from the penalty spot following a handball by Connor Roberts.

And they were left thanking keeper Erwin Mulder for a brilliant double save 15 minutes from time which ensured a share of the spoils.

The visitors enjoyed a good start with Leroy Fer heading a Matt Grimes’ free-kick straight at Rudd on 14 minutes.

Andrew Hughes then curled a 25-yard free-kick over the bar a minute later as North End came into the game before Fer dragged a cross-shot wide after Naughton’s pass had played him in on 24 minutes.

North End’s Johnson failed to trouble Mulder after Tom Clarke’s cross was cleared into his path on 32 minutes.

But the Swansea keeper was called into action a minute later to keep out Clarke’s header from Ben Pearson’s floating cross.

The Dutchman then held Brad Potts’ low 30-yard piledriver at the second attempt on 36 minutes.

Rudd pulled off a great diving save to keep out Bersant Celina’s effort after it took a massive deflection.

He had a simpler save to make three minutes before the break when Roberts struck a low powerful shot straight at him.

The lively Celina hit the inside of the post as he was flagged offside following good link-up play with Baker-Richardson on 54 minutes.

But the Welshmen were ahead seconds later when Baker-Richardson rifled home after a brilliant cut-back from Routledge.

The lead lasted just five minutes though as the home side were awarded a penalty when Jayden Stockley’s cross was ruled to have hit Roberts’ arm.

And Johnson made no mistake as he sent the keeper the wrong way to level the match.

Matt Grimes fired over from distance on 68 minutes as City looked to get back in front.

But Mulder was forced to pull off a super double save on 75 minutes to deny Sean Maguire and Alan Browne’s follow-up, before Tom Barkhuizen fired over with 12 minutes to go as Preston ended the match strongly.

Half-time sub Earl had 45 minutes to forget when he was sent off for a second bookable offence for a late challenge on Mike Van Der Hoorn on 81 minutes.

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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