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Birthday boy Boyle helps Preston earn point on debut

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Andy Boyle was on target for Preston debut. Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile

Andy Boyle was on target for Preston debut. Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Andy Boyle was on target for Preston debut. Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile

Andy Boyle's debut for Preston ended on as a high as they grabbed an injury time equaliser to draw with Derby County.

Boyle was selected for his first start since leaving Dundalk in December and he impressed on his 26th birthday after patiently waiting for his chance with his new employers.

Derby were without the injured Richard Keogh but they were captained by Alex Pearce and looked to be on their way to victory courtesy of a Matej Vydra strike until Tom Barkhuizen popped up with a 95th minute leveller.

Daryl Horgan was brought in to join Boyle in the second half and their old Dundalk team-mate Richie Towell also featured as a sub for Brighton as they collected three points away to Rotherham.

Chris Hughton's charges closed the gap on leaders Newcastle to three points with Rafa Benitez's side involved in a scoreless draw away to Reading.

This was Hughton's first match without Irish centre half Shane Duffy who underwent surgery on his broken metatarsal earlier in the day.

Huddersfield are six points off Brighton in third spot after they continued their recent run of good form by registering a 1-0 success over Aston Villa. Fourth placed Leeds conceded in the 90th minute to end up with a point from their visit to Fulham.

Meanwhile, at the bottom of the table Irish defender Derrick Williams popped up with a rare goal to give relegation threatened Blackburn Rovers a valuable point from the visit of Cardiff. Blackburn and new boss Tony Mowbray are now two points clear of the drop-zone.

Bristol City are third from bottom and they drew 1-1 with a Norwich team that were without Wes Hoolahan due to a knock the Dubliner sustained over the weekend.

Irish Independent