Preston North End 1 Fulham 1 match report: Substitute Ched Evans earns share of the spoils at Deepdale

Preston North End came from behind to earn a deserved draw with Championship leaders Fulham at Deepdale.

By Dave Seddon
Saturday, 27th November 2021, 2:42 pm

Ched Evans came off the bench to score for the second game running, the Welsh striker bundling the ball home from close range after Ben Whiteman had delivered a corner into the six-yard box.

There was a bit of fortune about the goal with the ball appearing to strike Emil Riis on the arm before Evans got the final touch but perhaps PNE's second-half show earned that bit of luck.

They had fallen behind in the 15th minute to a goal from Cottagers skipper Tom Ream who met a free-kick close in to prod the ball past Daniel Iversen.

Ched Evans scores Preston North End's equaliser against Fulham at Deepdale

In those early stages PNE had seemed to pay their high-flying opponents a bit too much respect, allowing them to dominant the ball.

But steadily they found their feet and started to show more purpose to their play.

Frankie McAvoy's men were the better side of the second half by some distance, knocking on the door a few times before Evans' leveller.

The North End starting XI had shown just one change, Liam Lindsay replacing the injured Patrick Bauer in the centre of defence.

Ched Evans is congratulated by Emil Riis and Ben Whiteman after scoring for PNE against Fulham

An early sight of goal for the home side came in the six minute when Emil Riis nicked the ball off Tosin Adarabioyo's toes and moved into the box, the Fulham centre-half recovering to get in a tackle and take it behind for a corner.

Fulham took the lead after quarter of an hour, Josh Earl's foul on Denis Odoi giving away a free-kick on Fulham's right-wing.

Jean Michael Seri delivered the free-kick low towards the near post where skipper Ream nipped in to knock the ball into the net.

It was the visitors in control of the play at that point but an opening fell PNE's way in the 23rd minute after Whiteman dropped a lovely ball over the top of the Fulham defence.

Tom Barkhuizen receives treatment during the second hald

Riis got on the end of it in the box but couldn't bringing it under control and the chance went begging.

Just before the half-hour, Aleksandar Mitrovic's free-kick hit the wall, with North End blocking a follow-up effort.

North End showed more purpose to their attacking play as the first half progressed, Riis cutting into the box from the right channel in the 33rd minute and seeing his low shot deflect off a Fulham boot past the near post.

Whiteman's low shot from outside the box drew a comfortable save from Cottagers keeper Marek Rodak, then Riis got away down the right of the box but put too much power on his cut back and the ball travelled across the face of goal and out of the box.,

Two minutes into the second half, Ali McCann's pass fed Barkhuizen down the right-wing and he surged towards the box.

He was halted by a challenge from Antonee Robinson which seemed to have a scissor motion,

Referee Chris Kavanagh gave a free-kick, Robinson getting a yellow card.

Barkhuizen played on for a couple of minutes before pulling up and limping off - his left ankle seeming to be the problem.

Jordan Storey came on to replace him, with Sepp van den Berg switching to wing-back.

North End went close in the 58th minute, Riis cutting inside from the right-wing and letting fly with a low left-foot shot which flew across the box and was saved by Rodak who held it at the second attempt.

Evans joined the fray after an hour, replacing Sean Maguire in the front line and within 12 minutes he pulled PNE level.

You sensed a goal had been coming with the Lilywhites having bossed the second half.

A strong run by Andrew Hughes won PNE a corner on the left, one which Whiteman delivered right-footed into the middle.

It swung into the six-yard box where Evans' header hit Riis almost on the line before Evans bundled it over the line.

North End kept the pressure on, having plenty of the ball as they looked for a winner.

Fulham rallied in the closing stages but the hosts defended well despite losing Hughes to an injury - Greg Cunningham coming on in stoppage-time.

PNE: Iversen, Van den Berg, Lindsay, Hughes (Cunningham 90), Barkhuizen (Storey 53), McCann, Whiteman, Browne, Earl, Maguire (Evans 60), Riis. Subs (not used): Johnson, Ledson, Sinclair, Hudson.

Fulham: Rodak, Odoi, Adarabioyo, Ream, Robinson, Seri (Onomah 68), Reed, Wilson, Carvalho (Knockaert 81), Kebano (Decordova-Reid 68), Mitrovic. Subs (not used): Tete, Hector, Muniz, Gazzaniga.

Referee: Chris Kavanagh (Manchester)

Attendance: 9,838

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