Sub Che Adams secures point for Birmingham against Preston
Che Adams came off the substitutes' bench to salvage a 2-2 draw for Birmingham against Preston at St Andrew's in the Sky Bet Championship.
The former Sheffield United striker lost his place following the 1-1 draw at QPR but this did not deter him when he notched a vital second-half equaliser.
An inspirational performance from Daniel Johnson was the key to Preston's smart performance.
Johnson, the ex-Aston Villa youth player, produced the corner from which Alex Baptiste put Preston ahead and then guided home a free-kick to regain the lead after Ryan Shotton had equalised for Birmingham.
The home side dominated the second half and Adams came up with a timely 67th-minute equaliser.
The youthful enthusiasm of teenager Reece Brown was an encouraging feature of Birmingham's play as he confidently moved forward on his own to force Chris Maxwell to block his shot.
Brown continued to justify his inclusion with confident, industrious and mature play which marked him as a young star of the future.
Preston's response was a sudden attack on the break which allowed Callum Robinson to go through unchecked until he was forced into a hurried shot into the side-netting by advancing goalkeeper Adam Legzdins.
Encouraged by this goalscoring opportunity, Preston began to move forward more confidently and took a 19th-minute lead when Johnson's corner resulted in a scramble which ended with Baptiste stabbing the ball home from close range.
Birmingham were back on level terms in the 31st minute. Once again the goal came from a corner and this time the unmarked Shotton was on hand to head home David Cotterill's delivery.
The tempo certainly increased with Robinson hitting Birmingham's woodwork but in the 35th minute Preston regained their lead when Johnson rifled home a sweet left-footed free-kick which was deflected past Legzdins.
Johnson was a live-wire and set up Jordan Hugill but the striker stumbled as he was a about to shoot from a clear opening to Birmingham's obvious relief.
Birmingham strived for the equaliser with Cotterill grazing the crossbar with one effort while Ben Pearson went through on a solo run for Preston only to slide his effort just wide of the far post.
The second half developed into an attacking barrage on the Preston goal and in the 67th minute Birmingham equalised when Adams raced clear and scored with a fine, low cross-shot.