Norwich made to pay as Brad Potts rescues late point for Preston North End

Brad Potts equalised with virtually the last kick of the game to give Preston a hard-earned point in a 1-1 draw with the leaders Norwich in Frankie McAvoy’s first game in charge. The hosts dramatically levelled late on to cancel out Emi Buendía’s early opener, moving them 10 points clear of the relegation zone.

Because of eight midweek international call-ups Norwich were missing several of their normal starting lineup. Andrew Omobamidele came in at centre‑half and from the start Ched Evans targeted the 18-year-old.

The home side came close early on when Jordan Storey headed Ryan Ledson’s corner over the bar as Preston played their first game under interim manager McAvoy following the departure of Alex Neil after three years in charge. McAvoy made three changes to Neil’s last starting lineup, most notably Emil Riis who was a strong presence for most of the game.

Todd Cantwell’s early low drive was blocked and it fell invitingly for the full-back Bali Mumba, but his lofted clip was smothered by the Preston goalkeeper Daniel Iversen. That sparked a break for Riis whose one-on-one shot was saved by the Norwich goalkeeper Tim Krul with the rebound coming off Evans’s head and going wide.

There was already more attacking from Preston than had been seen in the past few games at Deepdale but soon after the odds-on favourites for promotion went ahead. Teemu Pukki’s shot was blocked by Liam Lindsay in a brave act that left him winded. As he was clutching his stomach, the mercurial Buendía picked up the ball and curled a left‑foot shot inside the far post.

One of the internationals not to play in midweek was the top scorer Pukki but he then uncharacteristically missed the target after being played in by Buendía. The Finland international again went close only minutes later. He got even closer at the start of the second half but when racing clear again he struck the crossbar from close range as Iversen made himself big.

Preston were making a good fist of the contest through sheer effort and determination but it was the Canaries showing the classier moves, Mumba in particular sparkling.

McAvoy made all five of his substitutes with 20 minutes to go before Norwich had made one knowing that all it would take was one moment after City’s wasteful finishing. Unbelievably Pukki missed another golden opportunity, firing just wide when played in by Buendía.

Those missed chances came back to haunt Norwich as the substitute Potts controlled in the area and fired a deflected shot past the diving Krul.