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Deepdale (ATT 13,896) 26th December 2008 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: K Friend

Preston Preston North End vs Derby County Derby


Derby 0

Preston see off Rams

Parkin and St Ledger on target in victory

Last Updated: 26/12/08 5:51pm

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St Ledger: Broke deadlock

St Ledger: Broke deadlock

Preston North End enhanced their Championship promotion credentials with a 2-0 victory over struggling Derby County.

Jon Parkin's rich vein of form continued as he netted a third goal in as many home games, after highly-rated North End defender Sean St Ledger opened the scoring.

Giant striker Parkin, nicknamed 'The Beast', had scored the winning goals as a substitute in the previous two home matches against Doncaster and Birmingham.

His reward was a place in the starting line-up against Derby and his goal was a key contribution to Preston's 10th home win of the season.

Alan Irvine's men went into the game seeking to enhance their play-off credentials and on-loan Sunderland winger Ross Wallace delivered a dangerous cross in the third minute which required Rams goalkeeper Stephen Bywater to be alert.

Yet the Rams showed their quality in the fourth minute when Jordan Stewart produced a teasing cross, only for St Ledger to clear the danger.

However, the ball fell to Miles Addison 20 yards from goal and he volleyed in a right-footed shot which Youl Mawene did well to block.


In the 12th minute, Preston threatened again when Wallace crossed dangerously and midfielder Richard Chaplow hit a right-footed shot from 12 yards which flew over the crossbar.

Six minutes later, the impressive Wallace sent over an inswinging corner from the right flank and defender Billy Jones headed just wide from six yards.

Derby went close in the 20th minute when striker Rob Hulse engineered the space to hit a fierce right-footed shot which full-back Callum Davidson blocked bravely.

In the 22nd minute, Wallace forced Bywater into a smart stop with a right-footed shot from 18 yards.

Then came St Ledger's opener when he slotted the ball under Bywater with a low right-footed shot from 12 yards.


The pendulum swung back towards the Rams two minutes later when Nathan Ellington delivered a clever cross which forced St Ledger into a fine clearance.

In the 43rd minute, Derby midfielder Paul Green had a 20-yard shot saved by Andy Lonergan but the visitors created another opening immediately after.

Gary Teale crossed dangerously and Hulse arrived to head woefully wide from six yards out.

The Rams were almost punished on the stroke of half-time when Parkin connected with a cross from Wallace and volleyed just wide from 20 yards.

In the 48th minute, Derby midfielder Kris Commons found the space to hit a left-footed shot from 18 yards which Lonergan saved with his feet.

Green then hit a shot wide as Derby threatened an equaliser but Wallace hit the post with a free-kick in the 52nd minute and their hopes were dashed in the 68th minute when Parkin found the net to seal the win for North End.

Wallace crossed from the left flank and Parkin found scored with a brilliant right-footed shot from 18 yards.

Davidson then fired wide as Preston threatened a third goal before Hulse headed over the bar as Derby were left without an away win since October.

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Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bournemouth 46 90
2 Watford 46 89
3 Norwich City 46 86
4 Middlesbrough 46 85
5 Brentford 46 78
6 Ipswich Town 46 78
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 46 78
8 Derby County 46 77
9 Blackburn Rovers 46 67
10 Birmingham City 46 63
11 Cardiff City 46 62
12 Charlton Athletic 46 60
13 Sheffield Wednesday 46 60
14 Nottingham Forest 46 59
15 Leeds United 46 56
16 Huddersfield Town 46 55
17 Fulham 46 52
18 Bolton Wanderers 46 51
19 Reading 46 50
20 Brighton and Hove Albion 46 47
21 Rotherham United 46 46
22 Millwall 46 41
23 Wigan Athletic 46 39
24 Blackpool 46 26