Mellor denies ten-man Canaries
Preston end away day blues
Last Updated: 08/11/08 5:42pm
Mellor: Late leveller
Neil Mellor's late goal earned Preston a 2-2 draw at ten-man Norwich.
The former Liverpool man struck nine minutes from time just 60 seconds after Darel Russell was sent off for violent conduct.
Chrs Brown gave Preston the ideal start with the opener after just two minutes, but goals from Leroy Lita and John Kennedy turned the game in Norwich's favour before Mellor's late equaliser.
A mere two minutes were on the clock when the deadlock was broken and it was the visitors - who had lost four consecutive away games prior to kick-off - who took the lead.
Canaries defender Jon Otsemobor collided with goalkeeper David Marshall as they failed to deal with Paul McKenna's floated cross and Brown arrived late to slot home into an almost unguarded net.
Norwich lost influential defender Dejan Stefanovic as he was stretchered off with what appeared to be a nasty knee injury after eight minutes.
The visitors have struggled away from Deepdale all season and came into the game without a win on the road since the opening day of the season at Ipswich.
EqualiserTheir away-day nerves were evident as Glenn Roeder's side equalised.
David Bell's inswinging corner from the left found in-form Lita who made no mistake with his header.
Both sides continued to press and Lita soon forced goalkeeper Andy Lonergan into a superb save.
Lita's urgency inspired confidence in his team-mates as Norwich began to turn the screw.
The home side came inches away from taking the lead in the 30th minute as Ryan Bertrand's exquisite clipped shot from the left cannoned back off the bar and Lee Croft fizzed his follow-up narrowly wide.
Former England Under 21 international Lita was in a rampant mood and came inches away from making it 2-1 in first-half injury time but his back-post volley flew past the upright.
The second period began in nervous fashion as both sides wrestled for possession in the centre of the park.
Former Luton midfielder Bell came close with a rasping 30-yard drive in the 58th minute but was instrumental as his side took a 62nd-minute lead.
His skill frustrated Barry Nicholson into a conceding a free-kick on the left and Bell brushed himself down to deliver a pin-point free-kick for Kennedy to tap home from six yards.
Alan Irvine's Lilywhites began to rediscover their attacking impetus and could have levelled as centre-back Wayne Brown powered his header over before fellow defender Youl Mawene lashed his six-yard volley wide.
But the pendulum swung in the visitors' favour in the 80th minute as Norwich midfielder Russell was dismissed for violent conduct after he raised his hands to Ross Wallace.
And just a minute later the Lilywhites found the equaliser as substitute Mellor latched on to a loose ball and lashed high into the net from 20 yards.
Preston piled forward in search of their first away win since August and Chris Sedgwick saw his effort tipped around the post by Marshall as the visitors were unable to find the winning goal.
Sky Bet Championship
Sat 8th Nov
Blackpool0 - 1Ipswich
Barnsley1 - 2Sheff Utd
Sheff Wed1 - 0Doncaster
Plymouth2 - 2Charlton
N Forest1 - 1Birmingham
Reading3 - 0Derby
Coventry0 - 2C Palace
Norwich2 - 2Preston
Wolves2 - 0Burnley
QPR1 - 0Cardiff
Southampton0 - 1Bristol C
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