Karacan earns point at Preston
2nd October 2010
A second half stunner from Jem Karacan gave the Royals a share of the spoils at Preston, after we had fallen behind to a goal from Keith Treacy. The home side finished with ten men after Darel Russell was sent off for a second bookable offence late on but we could not force a winner.
Brian McDermott was forced into two changes for the match, Zurab Kizhanishvili returning for the suspended Matt Mills whilst Simon Church was restored to the team in place of the injured Hal Robson Kanu. Jobi McAnuff was named captain and there was a place on the bench for young Nicholas Bignall.
The Royals had the best early chance when McAnuff cut in on his right foot and curled a fantastic effort that hit the bar with the goalkeeper easily beaten. We continued the pressure and Alex Pearce should have done better when he connected with a corner.
The home side took the lead against the run of play and it came from a mistake by Kizhanishvili, who tried to shield the ball out of play. Iain Hume nipped in though and won possession, crossing into the middle and the ball eventually fell for Treacy to fire home.
Our heads did not go down though and Kizhanishvili had an effort cleared off the line before heading wide in stoppage time, whilst Jem Karacan had an effort blocked in between the Georgian`s chances.
It did not take us long to respond in the second half and it came from a world class finish from Karacan. Jimmy Kebe won a corner and the delivery found its way to the midfielder on the edge of the area and he unleashed an unstoppable volley into the back of the net. The keeper had no chance, a quite fantastic goal.
McAnuff almost made it 2-1 straight after but the keeper made a great save before we threw on Noel Hunt for Church in a bid to win the game. It looked to be going in our favour when Russell was sent off for a second bookable offence after a foul on Shane Long.
We pushed for the winner in the closing stages but the closest we came was a Hunt header, but in truth it was easily saved and both sides settled for a point. We head into the international break on the back of a fine run of form, and a point at Preston can be considered a good result.