Match ends, Notts County 1, Preston North End 3.
Preston North End took a step closer to the Championship with a crucial win at relegation-threatened Notts County.
Jermaine Beckford put the visitors ahead with a flick and cool finish, before League One's top scorer Joe Garner netted his 22nd of the season to give Preston a half-time lead.
After the break, County's Jimmy Spencer lashed in but Beckford smashed home his second to give Preston three points.
The Lilywhites will seal promotion with wins in their final two games.
|League One battle for promotion and survival|
|Preston North End remaining games: Swindon (h), Colchester (a)|
|Notts County remaining fixtures: Doncaster (h), Gillingham (a)|
Simon Grayson's side, who are now unbeaten in 17 league matches, can guarantee a return to the second tier of English football for the first time since 2010-11 if they beat Swindon and MK Dons lose at Rochdale at the weekend.
Preston, who had thrown away leads in their last three games, had goalkeeper Sam Johnstone to thank six minutes from time as he pulled off a superb save with his legs to deny Garry Thompson and keep the score at 2-1.
Notts County have now failed to win in 11 games and sit two points from safety with just six points left to play for.
- 1CarrollBooked at 64mins
- 7HayhurstSubstituted forNobleat 45'minutes
- 28EdwardsSubstituted forBajnerat 60'minutes
- 4SmithSubstituted forThompsonat 90'minutes
- 27RobinsonSubstituted forWoodsat 80'minutes
- 12GallagherSubstituted forKilkennyat 80'minutes
- 14GarnerBooked at 75minsSubstituted forDaviesat 90'minutes
- Carl Boyeson
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Notts County 1, Preston North End 3.
Attempt missed. Daniel Johnson (Preston North End) right footed shot from long range on the left misses to the right.
Substitution, Notts County. Curtis Thompson replaces Alan Smith.
Substitution, Preston North End. Kevin Davies replaces Joe Garner.
Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Hayden Mullins.
Foul by Garry Thompson (Notts County).
Joe Garner (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Goal! Notts County 1, Preston North End 3. Jermaine Beckford (Preston North End) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Daniel Johnson.
Attempt saved. Garry Thompson (Notts County) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.
Attempt saved. Graham Burke (Notts County) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.
Attempt blocked. Graham Burke (Notts County) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Substitution, Preston North End. Calum Woods replaces Callum Robinson.
Substitution, Preston North End. Neil Kilkenny replaces Paul Gallagher.
Attempt missed. Jermaine Beckford (Preston North End) left footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the left.
Attempt saved. Balint Bajner (Notts County) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Attempt blocked. Gary Jones (Notts County) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Joe Garner (Preston North End) is shown the yellow card.
Hand ball by Joe Garner (Preston North End).
Foul by Alan Smith (Notts County).