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Championship: Preston earn first-leg draw at Leeds

5 May 2006 22:56

LEEDS, May 5 (SW) - Leeds United will have a tough task still to do in a few days, but a free kick by Eddie Lewis earned the Whites a 1-1 draw at home on Friday against Preston North End in their Championship play-off semi-final first leg match.

The early pressure came from Leeds, but it was the visitors who got the first good scoring chance on seven minutes as David Nugent took a pass from Graham Alexander, but his shot went narrowly over the bar and into the Kop.

Leeds then were unlucky not to have taken the lead in the 21st minute as Matthew Kilgallon rose to head a corner kick by Eddie Lewis, but the ball went crashing off of the post and Preston were able to clear their lines.

Preston again showed their ability to pressure the Whites' goal as both sides vied for the opening goal, and Paul McKenna fired off a shot that was blocked, but the second attempt by Nugent had to be played out for a corner kick.

Two minutes before the interval, Leeds created another golden scoring opportunity as David Healy's thrilling run down the right led to a cross into the area, and Rob Hulse's header was about to cause serious trouble, but Preston goalkeeper Carlo Nash made a desperation move and cut out the danger.

Nugent, who was a threat on a couple of occasions in the first half, gave the North End supporters - sitting in the south end of the stadium - a moment of brilliance to cheer in the 48th minute as he ran past three Leeds defenders before sliding the ball beyond Neil Sullivan for a Preston lead.

A very solid Preston defense nearly let them down in the 63rd minute as a backpass by Tyrone Mears was poorly hit, allowing Healy a chance to pounce, but Nash was alert to the error and charged down the ball before the Northern Ireland international could get there.

With just a quarter hour to play, Leeds were awarded a free kick just outside the area as Claude Davis fouled Robbie Blake, and winger Lewis stepped up and hit a beautiful shot that left Nash rooted to the ground and sent Elland Road into a frenzy.

Sean Gregan was on the verge of giving Leeds the lead with eight minutes to play when he got his head to a Blake cross, but the ball went agonizingly wide of the post. A go-ahead goal would have been large going into the second leg at Deepdale on Monday.

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Monday 28 July

19:30
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Sunday 27 July

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Saturday 26 July

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Championship table

# Team MP D P
1 0 +0 0
2 0 +0 0
3 0 +0 0
4 0 +0 0
5 0 +0 0
6 0 +0 0
7 0 +0 0
8 0 +0 0
9 0 +0 0
10 0 +0 0
11 0 +0 0
12 0 +0 0
13 0 +0 0
14 0 +0 0
15 0 +0 0
16 0 +0 0
17 0 +0 0
18 0 +0 0
19 0 +0 0
20 0 +0 0
21 0 +0 0
22 0 +0 0
23 0 +0 0
24 0 +0 0

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