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Preston North End 1-1 Swansea City: FLW reports as play-off chasers share the spoils at Deepdale

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Given these two sides came into this game separated by just one point and one place in the Championship standings, it is perhaps no surprise that they would go on to play out such a tightly-contested affair.

Indeed, this was a game that would see chances at a premium, with defences largely coming out on top across the course of a match in which Preston would lead their visitors for no more than three first-half minutes, with neither side then looking like re-establishing an advantage, something that could leave both with move questions than answers as they look to hunt down a top-six spot in the coming months.

It was Swansea who would start the match the brighter, albeit without enjoying too many clear cut efforts, with George Byers’ two early efforts from outside the North End area causing little problem for Preston ‘keeper Declan Rudd.

The visitors would continue to press as the game wore on, Connor Gallagher fired wide under pressure after being set up by fellow loanee Rhian Brewster, before Andre Ayew headed wide from a Bersant Celina corner.

But half an hour on the clock, it would be Preston who would take the lead with just about their first effort of the game, thanks to a familiar face to the visitors.

Picking up the ball out on the right-hand side, Scott Sinclair – a key figure in Swansea’s promotion from this division back in the 2010/11 – carried the ball to the edge of the area, before curling a lovely effort into the bottom far corner of Freddie Woodman’s net to claim his first Preston goal since signing for the club last month.

The visitors however, would not be behind for long, and it would be a January signing of their own to draw them level just minutes later.

A ball down the right-hand channel of Preston’s area found Ayew, and with the hosts up in arms at the absence of an offside flag, the Ghanian was able to pull the ball across the face of goal for Brewster to tap in his second goal in three appearances since making the temporary move from Liverpool.

After that, the game would become an increasingly scrappy one as the half drew to a close, and with the Preston crowd growing increasingly frustrated with the performances of the officials, it would be Swansea who would go closer to taking the lead, Gallagher firing over from inside the area, before Celina produced a good save from Rudd with an effort from distance.

It would be a similar to story to that that would play out in the second half, with chances continuing to be few and far between.

Tom Barkhuizen would see an effort from the edge of the box deflect behind for what was given as a goal kick – further frustrating the home fans – while up the other end, Celina missed his kick when through on goal after Joe Rafferty lost possession to allow Ayew to play the Kosovan in, who would also hit a half-volley into the side netting moments later.

As the half wore on, Swansea’s defence would again be tested, as Johnson’s free-kick from the right found Alan Browne inside the area with Jake Bidwell blocking the midfielder’s effort not once but twice, before the resulting corner was headed clear.

Browne would then nearly turn provider in the final minute of normal time, only for Woodman to tips Bauer’s header over for a corner which was just scrambled clear by the visiting defence. Browne however, was not done there, as he almost snatched a winner in stoppage time, latching on to a flick-on inside the area with a first-time effort that flashed just over, as both sides were left to settle for a point, which them at the front of the chasing pack in the race for the play-off places.


ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Preston North End 1-1 Swansea City: FLW reports as play-off chasers share the spoils at Deepdale

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