Penalty cost two points - Brown

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Phil Brown believes his struggling Preston would have left Doncaster with three vital points had a second-half penalty decision gone in their favour.

Paul Hayes came off the bench to salvage a 1-1 draw for the visitors after Brian Stock opened the scoring for Rovers. A frantic contest was still delicately poised at 0-0 when North End forward Eddie Johnson broke clear before going down under a challenge from James O'Connor but referee Scott Mathieson was unmoved.

"To not get the penalty was, for me, the pivotal moment of the game," said Brown. "It's the reason why we've only got one point and not got three."

He added: "The lad who made the tackle said to Humey (Iain Hume) that he thought he was lucky still to be on the field of play, so how is that not a penalty? Unless he was pulled down why would Eddie not go round him and stick the ball in the back of the net?"


Despite an impressive recent run of form that has seen Preston lose only once in their last six outings, the chances of the Lancashire club retaining their npower Championship status are becoming increasingly slim as they lie seven points from safety.

Nevertheless, Brown is refusing to give up the fight and has challenged his side to win all of their five remaining games, starting with the weekend's vital meeting against Sheffield United at Deepdale.

"Five wins, that's where it leaves us," he said. "The next one is the most important."

Doncaster boss Sean O'Driscoll acknowledged the open nature of the game - there was a total of 42 shots on goal - and, while admitting it made for a great spectacle, he was critical of his side's lack of discipline.

"The neutrals have probably gone home clapping their hands," he said. "For us there was good spirit and determination, but we were far too open.

"We walked off the pitch after losing to Cardiff on Saturday having ticked all the boxes and not got anything out of the game. Here we ticked half the boxes and got a point. It's a strange game, football."

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