Doncaster Rovers 1 Preston 1

Doncaster's Brian Stock (left) celebrates his goal with James Coppinger and James O'Connor Picture: Andrew Roe

Doncaster's Brian Stock (left) celebrates his goal with James Coppinger and James O'Connor Picture: Andrew Roe

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ROVERS continued to edge their way to Championship safety with a point against lowly Preston.

Both sides had a hatful of chances in an open and entertaining encounter - but had to settle for a draw as Brian Stock’s late strike was almost immediately cancelled out by Paul Hayes.

George Friend had Rovers’ best chance of the first half after just three minutes as the game burst into life, the defender unlucky to see his shot blocked by keeper Iain Turner.

Gary Woods then had to be at his best to deny Chris Brown after the former Rovers loan striker broke the offside trap.

Shelton Martis had a header from a corner cleared off the line before North End’s Keith Treacy forced a full length save from Woods with a neat volley as both sides traded attempts on goal.

The game lost its early breakneck speed but the opportunities kept on coming and Simon Gillett was unlucky not to get enough on John Oster’s teasing cross, while livewire striker Iain Hume’s deflected effort looped just over for the visitors.

Preston were denied what looked like a certain penalty when Eddie Johnson appeared to tripped by Matt Kilgallon with the winger bearing down on goal.

Franck Moussa then struck the bar with a dipping volley but moments later Doncaster finally made the breakthrough when Stock coolly rifled home from the edge of the box after being teed up perfectly by Gillett.

The lead lasted barely three minutes as Rovers failed to defend a corner and Paul Hayes was on hand to bravely head home after Johnson’s snapshot rebounded off the bar.

The point was more useful for Doncaster than Preston - edging Rovers eight points clear of the drop zone with five games to play.