Late PNE leveller was deserved, says Greg

Greg Cunningham believes that Preston North End's draw against Queens Park Rangers '“ secured with a late Eoin Doyle equaliser '“ was a deserved one.

Sunday, 20th March 2016, 3:04 pm
Updated Sunday, 20th March 2016, 4:15 pm
Greg Cunningham

Doyle headed home a cross from left-back Cunningham during stoppage-time to peg back QPR who had led from the fifth minute through Sebastian Polter’s goal.

It was Doyle’s second goal in a week, having netted the winner at Bolton with another late strike.

Cunningham said: “I thought a point was the least we deserved out of the game, we dominated.

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“QPR got their goals from a set piece after we had started the games really well.

“We had a lot of the play after that, kept battling away and got our reward in the end.”

Doyle came off the bench to score, having been introduced into the action after 61 minutes.

It was the fourth goal of his loan spell from Cardiff City and fellow Irishman Cunningham is delighted to see him hitting some form at long last.

Said Cunningham: “I think it was Tom Clarke who put a cross over the other side.

“Paul Gallagher pulled it back into my path and I just saw Karl Henry sprinting towards me.

“I thought that if I knocked it past him, there was a bit of a gap to go into and that gave me the space to get a cross in.

“I put the ball into a good area and Eoin got his head on it to produce a great finish.

“He has been fantastic in training, has had to bide his time, so I’m delighted to see him score in the last two games.

“When you look at his scoring record, it is very good.

“He scored 21 goals in half a season at Chesterfield in League One, you don’t do that if you are only an average player. He is a great lad to have around the place and hopefully there will be a few more goals to come from him.”

Cunningham admitted it had been frustrating for North End to have conceded the early goal.

QPR’s big German front man Sebastian Polter rose unmarked to head in a corner.

Having not conceded a league goal in the first 20 minutes of a game this season, it came as a bit of a shock.

“We had started brightly in the first few minutes, had a few attacks, then QPR scored against the run of the early play,” said Cunningham.

“That was frustrating and from then on, it was mainly us doing the attacking.

“Anders Lindegaard only had one save to make, that being at the end when their lad went clear.

“It shows what a great keeper we have, Anders had nothing to do all afternoon and then makes a vital late save.

“His save kept us in the game and we were able to go down the other end a bit later and rescue a point.

“The game got a bit stop-start in the second half, QPR tried to kill the tempo because it was wave after wave of our attacks.

“To be fair, we would have done the same if we we had been in their shoes but it did get quite frustrating at times.

“There were a few incidents which were a bit niggly and that saw the referee stop the game a few times to try and calm things down.”

Saturday’s game saw a return to the PNE squad for Jermaine Beckford after more than six months out with a knee injury.

Cunningham said: “It was great to have Jermaine back, he is a top quality striker.

“During his time out injured, he has been fantastic to have around the dressing room, encourging the lads and giving us his support.”