John Eustace's wait for a first victory over Blackburn Rovers continues after they surrendered a two-goal lead and drew 2-2 with Preston North End.

After a disappointing display at St Andrew's in midweek, Rovers were far brighter from the off and got off to the perfect start through Sam Szmodics.

The forward latched on to Sam Gallagher's flick-on and made no mistake with his 18th goal of the season. 

Things got even better before the 25-minute marker as Gallagher doubled Rovers' advantage. He beat the Preston offside trap and latched on to Callum Brittain's clever pass, poking past the goalkeeper.

The first half an hour was pretty faultless from Rovers. They were first to every tackle and had restricted their in-form hosts to very little.

The momentum swung though as North End rallied with two quickfire goals in four minutes. Robbie Brady fired a brilliant strike into the top corner to reduce the deficit.

Disaster then struck from the next set-piece as Rovers failed to clear their lines and Emil Riis bundled the ball home. 

Eustace's side then had to ride out the storm as Deepdale roared Preston on. But with 30 minutes to go, the game even out again and whilst both sides probed, neither overly tested the opposite goalkeeper.

That was until stoppage time when Aynsley Pears had to be sharp to keep out Alan Browne's back-post header. That secured a share of the spoils for Rovers, which they had earned.

After a disappointing display at Birmingham City on Tuesday night, a packed-out away end of more than 4,500 were expecting a response from Eustace's side.

The early signs were promising as Rovers got off to the perfect start. Akin to the recent goal against Stoke, Gallagher flicked on a long ball but this time it was Szmodics running in-behind and he made no mistake with the finish.

That was exactly what Rovers needed after seven successive away defeats on the road. They were dealt an early blow as John Fleck's debut came to a premature end, replaced by Jake Garrett after 17 minutes after pulling up injured.

That did not appear to disrupt Rovers' rhythm though and they extended their advantage with another simple but effective ball. Gallagher latched on to Brittain's delighted pass into the channel and poked past Freddie Woodman.

Preston's appeals for offside were in vain and Rovers had the two-goal cushion they craved after only 25 minutes. They'd restricted the hosts to very little and it had been chalk and cheese with the ball too.

The half-hour mark saw a shift in momentum though and North End began to grow into the game. They started to get some joy down their right and it took important interceptions from Kyle McFadzean and Dom Hyam to prevent them from pulling one back.

That was a warning sign and soon the deficit was cut to one. Brady's corner was half-cleared but the Irishman latched back into it and sent a rocket of a strike curling past Aynsley Pears and into the far corner.

Even the most critical fan would have to say it was a quality finish from Brady. However, the defending for North End's equaliser left little to be desired.

Again, it came from a set-piece, with Rovers failing to deal with the initial ball into their box, it was hooked goalwards and then bundled in by Riis a few yards out. 

From a position of complete control, Rovers had surrendered their advantage in four frantic minutes just before the break.

The Deepdale crowd were right behind their side and Rovers had to ride out an initial storm when the teams emerged. They worked their way back into the match with a few waves of attack and with 30 minutes remaining, the game remained in the balance.

That was the way it stayed with both teams really cancelling the other out. Both teams had sniffs at goal but without finding the killer pass or overworking the opposition goalkeeper.

It took a stoppage-time save from Pears to ensure Rovers left Deepdale with a share of the spoils, though. The goalkeeper had to be sharp to turn away Browne's back-post header.

A point stops the rot for Rovers away from home after losing six games in a row. However, from a position of strength, they will be frustrated to have let a two-goal lead slip, particularly with goals coming from set pieces.