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Carrow Road (ATT 23,225) 8th November 2008 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: P Taylor

Norwich Norwich City vs Preston North End Preston

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Mellor denies ten-man Canaries

Preston end away day blues

Last Updated: 08/11/08 5:42pm

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Mellor: Late leveller

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.

Equaliser

Their 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.

Sending off

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.

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Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Derby County 14 26
2 Watford 14 26
3 Wolverhampton Wanderers 14 26
4 Bournemouth 14 24
5 Middlesbrough 14 24
6 Norwich City 14 23
7 Nottingham Forest 14 22
8 Blackburn Rovers 14 22
9 Charlton Athletic 14 22
10 Ipswich Town 14 21
11 Cardiff City 14 19
12 Sheffield Wednesday 14 19
13 Brentford 14 19
14 Reading 14 18
15 Millwall 14 17
16 Rotherham United 14 17
17 Huddersfield Town 14 17
18 Leeds United 14 16
19 Wigan Athletic 14 15
20 Fulham 14 14
21 Brighton and Hove Albion 14 13
22 Bolton Wanderers 14 11
23 Birmingham City 14 11
24 Blackpool 14 6

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