Preston 1-1 Sheff Utd

Brian Howard's goal 21 seconds into the second half earned Sheffield United a draw in their semi-final, first-leg Championship play-off tie with Preston. 
Preston had taken a first-half lead when Sean St Ledger latched on to a free-kick to convert from close range. 
The home side almost doubled their lead but Jon Parkin headed Ross Wallace's corner against the post. 
The Blades had several chances to equalise but it was Howard's volley from 10 yards that rescued them. 
The visitors started brightly with Jamie Ward going close in the fourth minute. 
Ward received the ball with his back to goal and turned his marker superbly before firing a low drive against the outstretched legs of keeper Andy Lonergan.
Preston manager Alan Irvine: 
"There were times when we played well so that makes me positive. 
"We are still in contention and I said that was the most important thing ahead of the game. 
"We know it will be a difficult game at Brammall Lane but we've played difficult games all season and still won. 
"We hoped to test Paddy Kenny more but once we got the goal we didn't push on from there." 

Sheffield United boss Kevin Blackwell: 
"We had to make sure we went back to Brammall Lane with something to play for and we have. 
"I've got a great set of players. They didn't panic, we kept the ball well and I'm delighted with the response of the players. 
"I was disappointed with the goal but at half-time I said to the players to continue as they had left off and it was great to get the equaliser so soon." 

Preston: Lonergan, Jones, Mawene, St. Ledger, Nolan, Sedgwick, McKenna, Carter (Nicholson 70), Wallace, Parkin, Mellor (Brown 77).
Subs Not Used: Neal, Chilvers, Elliott. 
Booked: Carter. 
Goals: St. Ledger 21. 

Sheff Utd: Kenny, Walker, Morgan, Kilgallon, Naughton, Montgomery, Howard, Stephen Quinn, Halford, Henderson (Beattie 54), Ward (Lupoli 74).
Subs Not Used: Bennett, Cotterill, Bromby. 
Booked: Kilgallon, Montgomery, Lupoli. 
Goals: Howard 46. 

Att: 19,840 
Ref: Andre Marriner (W Midlands).