TOP DOGS ARE WITHIN REACH FOR THE OWLS
Adam is late hero in draw
SHEFFIELD Wednesday manager Carlos Carvalhal admitted the luck was with his side as they snatched an equaliser in the last minute of injury time to earn a point against Preston at Deepdale.
Adam Reach, who was on loan at Preston last season, struck with virtually the final kick of the game after a Sam Hutchinson own goal had given Preston the lead.
The draw ended a run of three straight victories for the Owls, who stay in the play-off places but missed the chance to jump up to third in the table.
“We won one point out there that’s for sure,” Carvalhal said.
“At the end we had the luck that we didn’t have in some other games.
“This is football. We are happy when we achieve one point in a very tough game like this.
“Sometimes the opponent make it very difficult and that’s what happened in this game.
“Preston did that to us, they put a lot of pressure on and made it very difficult to play our style of game.
“This kind of thing happens in the Championship so it’s important to stay together like a team until the end and believe that we can achieve the minimum one point.
“We have some problems in attack with players that are out.
“I’m happy with the point because I know that the future will be brighter. We will recover the players and have more options.”
There were few chances of real note in a disappointing first half, but the game came to life after the break.
Preston had a goal disallowed after an hour.
Aiden McGeady’s shot was palmed away by Keiren Westwood but from the resulting corner Simon Makienok hammered the ball home – only for the referee to blow for a foul on the keeper.
And the hosts had another goal ruled out after 69 minutes when Callum Robinson fired past Westwood but was adjudged to be offside.
Simon Grayson’s side finally got their reward after 77 minutes as Greg Cunningham was slipped in behind on the left edge of the area and his low cross was deflected in off the unfortunate defender Hutchinson.
Wednesday pushed hard late on and got their breakthrough in injury time when Reach smashed home after a goalmouth scramble.
And Preston boss Simon Grayson could not hide his frustration after the final whistle.
“Sheffield Wednesday shouldn’t have got anything out of the game,” said Grayson.
“When the opposition score so late in the game it’s hard to take.
“But when you look at how well we played and how much we dominated we can be very proud of our performance without getting the result.
“The players played very well and made a very good team in Sheffield Wednesday look very average.
“We just couldn’t get the ball cleared at the end, we needed one really good clearance.
“It’s not a nice way to finish the game and end 2016 but how well we played in the game means there are a lot of positives.”
BATTLE: Preston’s Jordan Hugill, left, tussles with Sheffield Wednesday’s Tom Lees