Owls make point on Irvine return

Alan Irvine made a point on his return to Preston as Sheffield Wednesday came from two goals down to grab a crucial 2-2 draw at Deepdale.

Last Updated: 16/03/10 at 21:58 Post Comment

Tudgay: Scored fine equaliser for Owls

Tudgay: Scored fine equaliser for Owls

Irvine, 51, was surprisingly sacked by Preston in December, despite an impressive two-year tenure in which he saved the Lancashire outfit from relegation before guiding them into the Championship play-offs last season.

The Owls quickly snapped up Irvine to lead their battle against the drop, and his players illustrated their stomach for the fight with a stirring second-half comeback on Tuesday night.

Neil Mellor fired Preston ahead in the 29th minute and when influential midfielder Paul Coutts added a second eight minutes after the restart, it looked all over for Irvine.

Yet the former Everton assistant boss has fashioned a side with guts. They hit back with a speculative effort from distance by Tommy Miller in the 53rd minute and Marcus Tudgay's superb finish drew the Owls level four minutes later.

Irvine lost winger Jermaine Johnson to injury after just nine minutes, replacing him with Tom Soares, but the visitors should have soon led when Luke Varney headed Eddie Nolan's cross straight at goalkeeper Andy Lonergan.

Moments later, Preston winger Ross Wallace found Matt James and the on-loan Manchester United midfielder drove a 25-yard shot narrowly over the crossbar.

Tudgay saw a close-range strike saved by Lonergan in the 24th minute before Preston established control through Mellor's clinical opener.

Coutts' delightful pass dissected the Wednesday defence and allowed Billy Jones to strike at goal.

Jones' low shot was blocked by Wednesday skipper Darren Purse but Mellor tucked away the rebound with a low right-foot shot.

Ten minutes before the break, Mellor almost doubled Preston's advantage with a powerful run forward and left-foot drive which Lee Grant tipped over the bar.

The onus was on Wednesday to find a response after the break but Preston struck again in the 53rd minute when Coutts engineered space inside Wednesday's 18-yard box and squeezed a low right-foot shot past Grant from an acute angle.

The goal seemed to jolt Wednesday into life and four minutes later they were off the mark when Lonergan inexplicably allowed Miller's 30-yard piledriver to slip into the net.

The Owls continued to pour forward and were rewarded on the hour when Tudgay took advantage of another defensive slip in the home ranks and clipped a delightful finish over the advancing Lonergan and into the net.

Wednesday, roared on by a sizeable contingent of travelling fans, looked the more likely victors as the game wore on. Lonergan produced fine saves to deny substitute Leon Clarke twice in quick succession in the closing stages as Irvine was forced to settle for a point.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

More Match Results

Saturday, 19 April 2014
15:00
Barnsley 0-1 Leeds Report
Middlesbro' 1-2 Millwall Report
N Forest 1-0 Birmingham Report
Watford 3-1 Ipswich Report
12:15
Leicester 1-0 QPR Report
Friday, 18 April 2014
19:30
Doncaster 0-2 Derby Report
17:15
Blackpool 0-1 Burnley Report
15:00
Blackburn 0-0 Yeovil Report
Bournemth 2-4 Sheff Wed Report
Charlton 0-0 Bolton Report

Sky Bet Championship

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Leicester 43 36 93
2 Burnley 43 32 86
3 Derby 43 29 78
4 QPR 43 14 73
5 Wigan 42 17 70
6 Brighton 43 12 65
7 Reading 43 10 64
8 Ipswich 43 6 64
9 N Forest 43 5 62
10 Bournemth 43 -1 62
11 Blackburn 43 3 61
12 Watford 42 18 60
13 Middlesbro' 43 9 58
14 Bolton 43 -2 55
15 Sheff Wed 43 2 53
16 Leeds 43 -8 53
17 Huddersfld 43 -9 47
18 Birmingham 42 -11 43
19 Doncaster 43 -28 43
20 Millwall 43 -29 43
21 Charlton 42 -24 42
22 Blackpool 43 -27 42
23 Barnsley 43 -29 39
24 Yeovil 43 -25 37

Updated Sun, 20 Apr 2014

Footer 365

Premier League: No Manchester City hangover, insists Manuel Pellegrini

Manuel Pellegrini insists Manchester City will keep fighting for the Premier League title, despite their week to forget.

Sherwood keen to keep Eriksen

Tottenham head coach Tim Sherwood hopes the club can keep hold of Christian Eriksen in the summer.

Premier League: Roberto Martinez hails Everton players after win over Manchester United

Roberto Martinez saluted the focus and adaptability of his Everton squad after a 2-0 victory over Manchester United.

Mail Box

That's Why We Didn't Want Jose At United

There is plenty of reaction to Mourinho's antics (Isn't that exactly what he wanted?) plus thoughts on Connor Wickham, Fabio Borini, beach balls and Tim Sherwood...

Kieran's Not The Only One Keeping Notes

Another chap in the mailbox has been keeping notes on comments made by optimistic Man United fans. Plus, Garey Vance is offering a double-or-quits on his new tattoo...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property