TOP DOGS ARE WITHIN REACH FOR THE OWLS

Adam is late hero in draw

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Scott Hunt

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

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