sport

Derry sings Carroll's praises

Notts County boss Shaun Derry believes Roy Carroll could prove to be an inspired signing following their 1-1 draw at Preston.

Carroll, who joined from Greek champions Olympiacos, was almost toasting victory until Joe Garner's last-minute equaliser for North End cancelled out Jake Cassidy's debut goal for the visitors.

But Derry was delighted to see 36-year-old Carroll - who was in inspired form - roll back the years.

"They had chances in the first half but it showed why I was so keen to bring Roy Carroll in," said Derry.

"We are lucky to have him. I felt that he had an outstanding game and it was always going to be something special that was going to beat him. I suppose the finish from Joe Garner was that.

"If you were to ask us before the game if we would have taken a point, I would have said absolutely. But as the game transpired, and as we went into the latter stages, there looked like there was only going to be one winner.

"We took control of the game in the second half and I was pleased by the way we were playing.

"People may say we rode our luck but when you come to places like Preston, who are a big club with a much bigger budget, then you are going to be under pressure for spells."

Alan Browne hit the woodwork from close range while Paul Gallagher also went close for Preston but former Manchester United keeper Carroll kept the hosts out with a number of fine saves.

On-loan Wolves winger Cassidy then lashed in a superb finish from an acute angle after 52 minutes to give the Magpies the lead.

Preston applied late pressure and their persistence paid off in the dying stages when Garner, who had threatened all afternoon, crashed home an excellent drive from just inside the box.

"In the first half I thought we played very well," said North End boss Simon Grayson. "Our passing was crisp and our tempo was good.

"We created several good chances, we've also hit the bar and really we could have been out of sight and had the game sewn up at half-time.

"But credit to them because Roy Carroll showed he was in inspired form. But they came out after the break and scored an early goal.

"Their goal unsettled us a bit and we took time to get going again. But we showed a lot of character to keep on hanging in there and asking the questions and eventually Joe has popped up with the goal.

"Notts obviously came here with a game plan of trying to stop us from building momentum and that's something we have got to learn from.

"We can't fall into the trap of slowing our play down because of disruptions."