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PNE held to draw by league leaders

Posted on - 20th February, 2011 - 11:35am | Author - | Posted in - Preston North End, Sport

Preston North End were unlucky not to win against QPR.

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North End came into this game a giant 38 points behind Rangers and failed to close the gap on them or, more importantly, 23rd placed Scunthorpe who also drew.

PNE made just one change from the side that drew with Watford in the week, goal scorer Leon Clarke was unavailable and replaced by Nathan Ellington.

For QPR, Tommy Smith was out injured and Rob Hulse was dropped with Ishmael Miller and Heidar Helguson coming in.

Barry Nicholson cancelled out Heidar Helguson’s opener in a game that started slowly but had a pulsating ending.

The game was very even for most of the half with both sides providing little threat going forward. That changed in the 37th minute when a well worked QPR move resulted in the opening goal.

Miller had the ball on the left for QPR and when he put the ball in the box the former Bolton and Fulham striker Helguson gave QPR the lead.

Although QPR threatened to extend their lead PNE managed to go into half time 1-0 down.

After half time the game followed a similar pattern with both sides playing well but failing to create any clear cut chances.

QPR were looking very solid at the back so Phil Brown made a change bringing on Paul Hayes for Eddie Johnson.

PNE started to establish a foothold in the game and soon got the goal their play deserved. Nathan Ellington chipped the ball forward for Barry Nicholson who chipped Paddy Kenny to put PNE back on level terms.

From that point on the game stepped up a gear as both sides looked for the win.

Adel Taarabt was QPR’s main threat and he came closest for the away side while Leon Cort and Ellington both came close to getting the winner for PNE.

Phil Brown brought on Paul Parry and Jamie Proctor to try and make a difference but QPR’s watertight defence held out and although both sides poured forward they had to settle for a point.

A draw against the best team in the league may seem like a good result PNE are now 11 points off safety after Crystal Palace, Middlesbrough and Scunthorpe all gained points.

PNE face second placed Nottingham Forest away on Tuesday and although they are up against another of the Championship’s top sides they need to give Phil Brown his first win if they are to have any realistic chance of staying up.

PNE: Turner 6, Gray 6, Cort 6, St.Ledger 7, Jones 7, Nicholson 8, Barton 6 (Parry 6), Ashbee 7, Treacy 7, Johnson 6 (Hayes 6), Ellington 6 (Proctor). Unused subs: Lonergan, Morgan, Russell, Carter.

QPR: Kenny 7, Orr 7, Gorkss 7, Connolly 7, Hill 7, Routledge 7 (Buzsaky n/a), Derry 6, Faurlin 6, Taarabt 7, Helguson 7 (Hulse 6), Miller 7 (Moen 6). Unused subs: Cerny, Hall, Chimbonda, Shittu.

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