Championship
Preston3Reading0

Preston North End 3-0 Reading

Tom Barkhuizen
Tom Barkhuizen has scored four goals in his last three games for Preston

Tom Barkhuizen scored twice to help Preston keep alive their Championship play-off hopes by beating Reading.

Barkhuizen gave the hosts the lead when he curled in from the edge of the box after good work by Daryl Horgan.

Horgan then doubled the advantage, slotting in at the second attempt after his first shot had been saved.

Barkhuizen volleyed in the hosts' third after the break from Horgan's free-kick, as Preston moved within six points of the play-off places.

Reading stay fifth in the table, but they are now only four points above seventh-placed Fulham following the Cottagers' 3-1 win at leaders Newcastle.

The Royals had a penalty appeal turned down early on when John Swift went down in the box, and they were denied the opening goal when Chris Maxwell produced a fine save to keep out Garath McCleary's long-range effort.

Preston controlled the game from then on, with Barkhuizen having scored four goals in three starts for Simon Grayson's side since arriving from Morecambe in January.

The Lilywhites have now won four straight league games at Deepdale, while Reading have lost three successive away games for the first time under manager Jaap Stam.

Preston North End boss Simon Grayson: "I'm obviously delighted when you beat somebody who are in the play-off positions 3-0, keep a clean sheet, with very good individual performances and could have had a lot more goals if we'd taken our chances.

"It's enhanced our opportunity of trying to catch the teams above us. We've always said over the last few weeks, we'll just see where it takes us. We've got nine games to go, I think if we win the next nine then we might have a chance but we've got some tough games from now until the end of the season."

"Wherever we finish, we'll have had a great season because they're an honest bunch of players and we'll keep fighting till the end and see where it takes us."

Reading boss Jaap Stam: "Everybody knows where we are, if you want to stay there, you need to defend and play in a certain way with a certain aggression and it's not only now towards the end of the season, it's the whole season because this is a tough league.

"It's very difficult to stay in the top six. All the teams, they want to stay up there, they want to do well, we do as well. I'm not interested in other teams, I'm focusing on our team, what we need to do and what we need to improve.

"If we keep on winning then we still can end up there and we need to be aware of that as well."

Line-ups

Preston

  • 22Maxwell
  • 5Clarke
  • 24BoyleBooked at 29mins
  • 23Huntington
  • 3Cunningham
  • 7HorganSubstituted forBrowneat 62'minutes
  • 11Johnson
  • 4Pearson
  • 14McGeady
  • 29BarkhuizenSubstituted forRobinsonat 76'minutes
  • 25HugillSubstituted forBeckfordat 88'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Lindegaard
  • 8Browne
  • 9Makienok
  • 10Beckford
  • 17Spurr
  • 21May
  • 37Robinson

Reading

  • 26Al Habsi
  • 2GunterBooked at 90mins
  • 5McShaneSubstituted forOxfordat 73'minutes
  • 24Blackett
  • 11Obita
  • 8Swift
  • 4van den Berg
  • 54MutchSubstituted forWilliamsat 33'minutes
  • 50GrabbanSubstituted forBeerensat 77'minutes
  • 18Kermorgant
  • 12McCleary

Substitutes

  • 6Evans
  • 7Beerens
  • 19Meite
  • 23Williams
  • 25Popa
  • 31Jaakkola
  • 32Oxford
Referee:
Scott Duncan
Attendance:
10,787

Match Stats

Home TeamPrestonAway TeamReading
Possession
Home37%
Away63%
Shots
Home15
Away14
Shots on Target
Home5
Away6
Corners
Home1
Away5
Fouls
Home7
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Preston North End 3, Reading 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Preston North End 3, Reading 0.

Attempt blocked. Roy Beerens (Reading) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by John Swift.

Booking

Chris Gunter (Reading) is shown the yellow card for hand ball.

Hand ball by Chris Gunter (Reading).

Attempt missed. Aiden McGeady (Preston North End) right footed shot from the left side of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Alan Browne with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Preston North End. Jermaine Beckford replaces Jordan Hugill.

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Chris Gunter.

Foul by Jordan Obita (Reading).

Aiden McGeady (Preston North End) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Offside, Preston North End. Aiden McGeady tries a through ball, but Callum Robinson is caught offside.

Foul by Reece Oxford (Reading).

Jordan Hugill (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Reading. Conceded by Greg Cunningham.

Attempt saved. Danny Williams (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jordan Obita.

Corner, Reading. Conceded by Alan Browne.

Substitution

Substitution, Reading. Roy Beerens replaces Lewis Grabban.

Foul by Garath McCleary (Reading).

Jordan Hugill (Preston North End) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Preston North End. Callum Robinson replaces Tom Barkhuizen because of an injury.

Substitution

Substitution, Reading. Reece Oxford replaces Paul McShane.

Attempt missed. Greg Cunningham (Preston North End) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Daniel Johnson following a set piece situation.

Foul by Chris Gunter (Reading).

Greg Cunningham (Preston North End) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt missed. Aiden McGeady (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left from a direct free kick.

Foul by Joey van den Berg (Reading).

Jordan Hugill (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Preston North End. Alan Browne replaces Daryl Horgan.

Attempt saved. Tom Barkhuizen (Preston North End) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jordan Hugill with a headed pass.

Attempt saved. Danny Williams (Reading) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Garath McCleary with a cross.

Attempt missed. Lewis Grabban (Reading) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Yann Kermorgant with a cross.

Attempt missed. Tom Barkhuizen (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Chris Maxwell.

Foul by Garath McCleary (Reading).

Daryl Horgan (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Danny Williams (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ben Pearson (Preston North End).

Offside, Preston North End. Daryl Horgan tries a through ball, but Tom Clarke is caught offside.

Foul by Joey van den Berg (Reading).

Jordan Hugill (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Yann Kermorgant (Reading).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Newcastle37245870323877
2Brighton37238663313277
3Huddersfield3622594739871
4Leeds372061150361466
5Reading37197114949064
6Sheff Wed371881148371162
7Fulham361612863422160
8Preston371511115145656
9Norwich37159136356754
10Derby371410133936352
11Barnsley37149145553251
12Aston Villa371212133739-248
13Cardiff37139155053-348
14Brentford36138155452247
15QPR37138164150-947
16Ipswich371015123744-745
17Birmingham371111153854-1644
18Burton371011163648-1241
19Nottm Forest37117195162-1140
20Wolves35109164146-539
21Bristol City37108194653-738
22Blackburn36911164253-1138
23Wigan37810193142-1134
24Rotherham3745283282-5017
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