Ball stunner denies Preston

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 1:33

The Lilywhites had led from the ninth minute but Ball’s 25-yard strike with five minutes left denied the visitors the chance to move six points clear of third-placed Swindon.
Preston’s early goal came when Stephen Jordan was judged to have felled Joe Garner deep inside Fleetwood territory. Paul Gallagher’s free-kick was headed clear by Nathan Pond but only as far as Daniel Johnson, who smashed home from 18 yards.
The visitors could have had a second before the break when Jermaine Beckford got on the end of a Gallagher pass three yards out but he somehow chipped into goalkeeper Chris Maxwell’s arms.
The tide showed no sign of turning after the interval.
Another Gallagher free-kick got caught in a swirling breeze and Maxwell clumsily turned the ball round the post.
There was finally drama in the North End box when defender Paul Huntington collided with his own keeper Sam Johnstone, leading to an eight-minute stoppage.
And from the restart the hosts pulled level. Ashley Hunter found Ball, who launched an audacious 25-yard lob which dropped in off the back post.
Hunter and Ball had chances to seal it at the death for Town but a crucial block by Scott Laird ensured the spoils were shared after 12 minutes of added time.

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