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Last Updated: Friday, 5 May 2006, 20:52 GMT 21:52 UK
Leeds 1-1 Preston
Eddie Lewis celebrates his equaliser for Leeds
Lewis joined Leeds on a free transfer from Preston last summer
Eddie Lewis' superb free-kick helped Leeds fight back to earn a draw in a tense first leg of their Championship play-off semi-final against Preston.

Matthew Kilgallon had headed against the post for Leeds before David Nugent put Preston ahead, dribbling past four men before slotting the ball home.

But Leeds levelled when former Preston winger Lewis curled the ball into the top corner from the edge of the box.

The two sides will meet again in the return leg at Deepdale on Monday.

Preston came into the game as the team in form after winning five of their last six games of the regular season - including a final day win over Leeds - while the home side had managed just one victory in the same period.

But Leeds were boosted by the support of their biggest crowd since their relegation from the Premiership in 2004 - and kick-off had to be delayed by 15 minutes to allow all of the 35,239 fans into Elland Road.

When the game did get going it was the home side who made the brighter start, and had a good shout for a penalty turned down after Preston defender Youl Mawene knocked Kilgallon over inside the box.

And Kevin Blackwell's side also had the first effort on goal when Kilgallon rose to meet a Lewis cross at the back post and sent a header clattering against the post.

But Preston were lively too, and Nugent - making his first start since returning from seven weeks out with a metatarsal injury - should have done better when he fired over the bar after a cleverly-worked free-kick.

That was by far the visitors' best chance of the first half - but three minutes after the restart they stunned Leeds by taking the lead.

There appeared to be no danger when Nugent picked up Carlo Nash's clearance but he made straight for goal and ran through the Leeds defence before shooting past Neil Sullivan.

Leeds initially came back strongly, with Liam Miller testing Nash with a powerful shot, but although they continued to dominate possession it appeared they had run out of ideas in front of goal.

In fact, Brett Ormerod almost added to Preston's lead when he smashed Danny Dichio's knockdown goalwards to bring a smart save out of Sullivan.

But with 16 minutes left Leeds finally found an equaliser when Lewis found the top corner with his free-kick despite Graham Alexander's best efforts to head the ball off the line.

Leeds: Sullivan, Kelly, Gregan, Kilgallon, Crainey, Miller, Bakke (Stone 57), Derry (Cresswell 79), Lewis, Healy (Blake 72), Hulse.
Subs Not Used: Bennett, Douglas.

Booked: Bakke, Miller, Cresswell.

Goals: Lewis 74.

Preston: Nash, Mears, Davis, Mawene, Alexander, Jarrett, O'Neil (Whaley 64), McKenna, Nugent (Agyemang 64), Dichio, Ormerod (Sedgwick 88).
Subs Not Used: Ward, Wilson.

Booked: Davis.

Goals: Nugent 48.

Att: 35,239

Ref: P Crossley (Kent).

Interview: Preston boss Billy Davies

Interview: Leeds boss Kevin Blackwell


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