On-the-whistle report: Preston North End 1 Rotherham United 1

Kyle Vassell up against Preston's Tom ClarkeKyle Vassell up against Preston's Tom Clarke
Kyle Vassell up against Preston's Tom Clarke
When it came, it was worth the wait.

Centre-forward Michael Smith finally scored the goal he's been threatening for weeks to earn Rotherham United a second Championship away point in four days with the equaliser at Preston North End.

The big man, without a goal since early August, turned and blasted the ball high into the net in the 55th minute following Ryan Williams low cross.

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It was an emphatic finish from the striker who gave a second man-of-the-match display on the trot following his heroics in the 0-0 stalemate at Middlesbrough in midweek.

Preston had taken the lead in the 40th minute of an opening period they controlled when Tom Barkhuizen turned in Callum Robinson's corner.

But the Millers regrouped and reshaped at the interval and looked much better in the second half as they switched from 4-4-1-1 to 4-4-2.

The draw left Paul Warne's men in 21st place, two points above the drop zone.

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The first half was an uninspiring affair as the home side did most of the attacking and the visitors gave away possession too easily.

Smith, having gone close with long-range efforts in his previous two matches, unleashed a curling 25-yarder in the 14th minute but his bad luck in front of goal continued as his effort smacked the post.

Just before then, Will Vaulks had shot wide, while Kyle Vassell and Richie Towell drew saves around the half-hour mark from Chris Maxwell with a header and a low shot on the run respectively.

However, North End were the more threatening team, particularly down their left flank where Callum Robinson was catching the eye, and they went ahead five minutes before the break when Robinson's corner was directed in by Tom Barkhuizen.

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Kyle Vassell, moved from the left flank to the middle, stung Chris Maxwell's hands with a fierce drive soon after half-time, but the Millers were grateful to Marek Rodak for denying Robinson in the 77th minute with a crucial stop.

In between those two moments Smith beautifully delivered the only thing his game has been missing.

Preston (3-3-3-1 ): Chris Maxwell; Tom Clarke, Paul Huntington, Ben Davies; Ben Pearson, Daniel Johnson (Paul Gallagher 72), Andrew Hughes; Callum Robinson, Alan Browne, Tom Barkhuizen (Louis Moult 75); Lukas Nmecha (Sean Maguire 64). Subs not used: Declan Rudd, Darnell Fisher, Josh Earl, Jordan Storey.

Rotherham (4-4-1-1): Marek Rodak; Zak Vyner, Semi Ajayi, Clark Robertson, Joe Mattock; Jon Taylor (Joe Newell 68), Will Vaulks, Richie Towell, Ryan Vassell (Jamie Proctor 76); Ryan Williams (Ryan Manning 85); Michael Smith. Subs not used: Lewis Price, Richard Wood, Matt Palmer, Ben Wiles.

Goals: Barkhuizen 40 (Preston); Smith 55 (Rotherham).

Referee: Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire).

Attendance: 11,780 (700).