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Sky Bet League 1

Deepdale (ATT 10,034) 1st March 2014 - Kick off 15:00

Preston Preston North End vs Walsall Walsall

Preston 2

P Downing (og 3)
B Wright (29)

ft

Walsall 1

S Mantom (5, S/O 82)

O'Donnell blunder proves costly

Last Updated: 01/03/14 6:08pm

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Richard O'Donnell: Fluffed his lines

Richard O'Donnell: Fluffed his lines

Goalkeeper Richard O'Donnell's huge blunder cost Walsall dear as Preston kept up their promotion push with a 2-1 win at Deepdale.

In only the third minute of the game Paul Downing's innocuous back pass was missed by O'Donnell and the backtracking 'keeper failed to prevent the ball from rolling agonisingly over the line.

Sam Mantom equalised moments later for the Saddlers from a rebound after his first effort was parried away by Declan Rudd.

But Bailey Wright re-established the hosts' lead just before the half-hour mark, heading home Paul Gallagher's inswinging free-kick.

After the interval Gallagher came close to doubling Preston's advantage when his curling effort was saved by O'Donnell and, in the ensuing melee, Craig Davies' header was cleared off the line.

Walsall's misery was compounded after 82 minutes as goalscorer Mantom's high challenge on Joe Garner gave the referee no choice but to issue a straight red card.

That meant Preston held on comfortably for a win which extends their unbeaten league home run to six games while play-off hopefuls Walsall are now winless in their last five.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet League 1

Sky Bet League 1
Pos Team P Pts
1 Fleetwood Town 4 10
2 Peterborough United 4 9
3 Preston North End 4 8
4 Bristol City 4 8
5 Barnsley 4 7
6 Swindon Town 4 7
7 Milton Keynes Dons 4 7
8 Bradford City 4 7
9 Doncaster Rovers 4 7
10 Notts County 4 7
11 Chesterfield 4 7
12 Sheffield United 4 6
13 Crawley Town 4 6
14 Leyton Orient 4 5
15 Coventry City 4 5
16 Port Vale 4 5
17 Rochdale 4 4
18 Gillingham 4 4
19 Yeovil Town 4 4
20 Walsall 4 3
21 Oldham Athletic 4 2
22 Colchester United 4 1
23 Scunthorpe United 4 1
24 Crewe Alexandra 4 0