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Jason McCarthy own goal denies Wycombe win at Preston

Jason McCarthy File Photo
(Image credit: Nick Potts)

Jason McCarthy’s late own goal cruelly denied Wycombe their first win at Preston in 27 years as they were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw.

Tom Barkhuizen opened the scoring with his fourth goal in five games, but Garath McCleary and Scott Kashket struck to set up an impressive comeback.

However, McCarthy turned Scott Sinclair’s cross into his own net as Preston denied the visitors their first win at Deepdale since a 3-2 victory on November 27 1993.

Former Manchester City winger Sinclair came within a whisker of firing the hosts ahead after just 43 seconds, but he dragged his right-foot shot just wide of the left upright.

Wycombe countered and created a good chance of their own as forward Fred Onyedinma rifled over from an acute angle inside the box.

But the opener came at the other end after some poor defending from the hosts.

McCarthy headed dangerously back towards his own goal and defender Josh Knight tried to help the ball to goalkeeper Ryan Allsop, but Barkhuizen intercepted to head home.

Preston forced the pace and Daniel Johnson had a shot charged down in the box having been teed up by Sean Maguire.

The hosts were then briefly reduced to 10 men when midfielder Ben Pearson limped off after a freak injury where he collapsed to the ground clutching his knee with no player nearby.

Adebayo Akinfenwa made his presence felt in the area, but he headed wide of the left-hand post as Wycombe battled their way back into a lively contest.

Akinfenwa had another good chance to level, but again he headed wide of the target and then Declan Rudd produced a superb point-blank save to thwart frontman Kashket.

Republic of Ireland international Maguire looked to double the hosts’ lead just before the break, but his deflected left-foot strike flew wide for a corner.

The visitors needed just three second-half minutes to get back on level terms thanks to McCleary’s powerful strike from an acute angle.

Daryl Horgan set up his team-mate, who didn’t disappoint as he lashed into the roof of the net at the near post.

And then Kashket wasted a glorious chance to fire Wycombe ahead when he blasted wide from close range with the goal at his mercy.

Sinclair tried his luck with a left-foot strike on the edge of the box soon after, but his effort was also just over the woodwork.

Kashket put the visitors ahead, coolly slotting home for his first goal in a month when left-back Joe Jacobson’s thunderbolt free-kick struck the left upright.

But there was a late twist to the tale when McCarthy somehow deflected Sinclair’s cross into his own net as Wycombe’s winless run was extended to six games.