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Match Reports

Preston North End 1 Rotherham United 1

27 October 2018

North End had to settle for a point at Deepdale in a combative fixture against Rotherham United.

Tom Barkhuizen gave the Lilywhites a first half lead, heading home Callum Robinson’s corner, but Michael Smith fire homed from the centre of the area ten minutes after the break to give the Millers a point.
Manager Alex Neil had skipper Tom Clarke available again after injury and the No.5 was his only change, coming in at right back for former Millers man Darnell Fisher.
North End tried to start where they left off on Wednesday night, on the front foot, and early on Robinson played Barkhuizen through, who closed to edge of ‘D’, but his shot was straight at Rodak in the visitors’ goal.
On eight minutes Daniel Johnson shot from edge of box, blocked by Smith for a corner, a after ball in from Barkhuizen on the right.
But just before the quarter hour mark the Millers went close to an opener when Smith, 29 yards out, curled an effort off the right-hand post and behind for a goal kick.
But the opening goal came five minutes before the break when Robinson’s corner from the left was delivered and Barkhuizen got across the front post and flicked home into the back-post net.
Moments later it was almost 2-0 as Barkhuizen pressured Semi Ajayi, beat Rodak to the ball, but Ajayi did well to get back and clear off the line.
Ten minutes after United levelled when Aussie international Ryan Williams went down the right and pulled the ball back to Smith, who turned and fired into the top right-hand corner from 12 yards out.
Sean Maguire was introduced with just less than half an hour left, Lukas Nmecha replaced, and was immediately into the game causing problems with his strength and pace.
Robinson created a chance with 13 minutes to go, but Rodak made a superb save to deny the striker in a one-on-one situation in a left-hand channel and despite dominating the possession, they could not carve out an opening to take the three points.
PNE line-up: Maxwell, Clarke (c), Hughes, Pearson, Huntington, Davies, Barkhuizen (Moult, 75), Johnson (Gallagher, 72), Nmecha (Maguire, 64), Browne, Robinson. Subs not used: Rudd, Fisher, Earl, Storey.
Rotherham United line-up: Rodak, Vyner, Mattock, Vaulks (c), Ajayi, Taylor (Newell, 68), Towell, Robertson, Vassell (Proctor, 76), Williams (Manning, 85), Smith. Subs not used: Price, Wood, Palmer, Wiles.
Attendance: 11,780 (700 Rotherham United fans)
Referee: Mr J Simpson

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