Irvine defends Wallace celebration

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Preston manager Alan Irvine paid tribute to Ross Wallace after his stunning free-kick secured a 1-1 draw against sworn enemies Blackpool.

The Seasiders enjoyed the better of proceedings at Bloomfield Road, but Wallace cancelled out Billy Clarke`s first-minute opener to earn the Lilywhites a point. The Scotland winger was booked after he ran to the visiting supporters to celebrate and a steward appeared to get injured after being caught up in the ensuing melee, yet Irvine absolved his player of any blame.

He said: "It was a fantastic free-kick and absolutely top class from Ross. If we start to take celebration out of the game then it will be a poorer game. Ross ran over to our fans but I can't tell from here whether he stepped off the pitch or stayed on the pitch."

He added: "I certainly don't think that he was jumping over barriers to get to our supporters. Our supporters understandably reacted in a very excited way and I believe that a steward got injured, which I'm extremely sorry to hear. I hope he's okay but I don't think Ross did an awful lot wrong."

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Billy Clarke
Ross Wallace
Preston North End

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