League One - 1st Leg
Chesterfield0Preston1

Chesterfield 0-1 Preston North End

Jermaine Beckford
Jermaine Beckford has scored 10 goals in his last 16 appearances for Preston

Jermaine Beckford's early goal at the Proact Stadium put Preston North End in control of their League One play-off semi-final with Chesterfield.

Preston, who narrowly missed out on automatic promotion on Sunday, made the perfect start as Beckford received Chris Humphrey's pass and lobbed over goalkeeper Tommy Lee.

Chesterfield dominated the second half but were unable to find an equaliser.

The second leg is at Deepdale on Sunday at 12:15 BST.

Preston have failed to win promotion via the play-offs in their previous nine attempts but are now in a strong position to progress to the Wembley final on 24 May.

The major talking point came just moments after half-time, when Spireites midfielder Jimmy Ryan appeared to elbow Paul Gallagher in the face, but both players were shown yellow cards.

Chesterfield Preston
There were several flashpoints throughout the game

The clash came after a first half full of tension in which there was another heated exchange between both sets of players and a further fracas in the tunnel at half-time.

The game had hardly settled down from the pre-match excitement when the visitors found themselves a goal in front through Bolton loanee Beckford.

Chris Humphrey played what seemed an innocuous pass through to the striker, but the Chesterfield defence left him unmarked as he calmly slotted the ball into the net from 12 yards.

The first half flowed from end to end, with League One's top scorer Joe Garner shooting straight at Chesterfield goalkeeper Lee from a tight angle and Dan Gardner forcing a fine save from Sam Johnstone, though there were few clear-cut chances.

Chesterfield came out revitalised after the interval and went close through Gary Roberts' fine run and shot and Ollie Banks' skied effort, but the Lilywhites' defence held firm and they claimed only their fourth win in 22 play-off games.

Chesterfield manager Paul Cook:

"After the disappointment of conceding early on, I thought we were terrific.

"If they had gone on and got a second goal, it would have left us with a mountain to climb, but that is not the case. At 1-0, the next goal in the tie is huge and we believe we can get it.

"It was a great night for our players because when you go up against these teams you can get found out, but that certainly never happened to us.

"We've got to believe in what we do. I do, our players do and our supporters do as well. I must say a big thank you to all our fans."

Preston boss Simon Grayson:

"There was a bit of criticism flying around at the weekend but we've shown a lot of spirit and character and when we've had to defend we have.

"We've put bodies on the line, made blocks and done what defenders are supposed to do. As a team, we worked extremely hard to stop the opposition.

"The players should have been given another opportunity. For large parts when we've had a setback this season we've always responded in the right manner and we've done that tonight.

"We are pleased that we have done well tonight but we aware that we've not done anything yet until Sunday."

Line-ups

Chesterfield

  • 1Lee
  • 2Darikwa
  • 23Evatt
  • 4Hird
  • 3Jones
  • 5Morsy
  • 8RyanBooked at 49mins
  • 10O'SheaSubstituted forGnanduilletat 88'minutes
  • 11Roberts
  • 7GardnerSubstituted forBanksat 77'minutes
  • 12Clucas

Substitutes

  • 9Gnanduillet
  • 15Humphreys
  • 16Raglan
  • 18Harrison
  • 24Banks
  • 25Talbot
  • 28Ariyibi

Preston

  • 34Johnstone
  • 5Clarke
  • 23Huntington
  • 6Wright
  • 19Welsh
  • 7Humphrey
  • 24Johnson
  • 12GallagherBooked at 48minsSubstituted forKilkennyat 79'minutes
  • 3LairdSubstituted forWoodsat 79'minutes
  • 14Garner
  • 10BeckfordSubstituted forRobinsonat 87'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Wiseman
  • 8Kilkenny
  • 9Davies
  • 15Woods
  • 21Stuckmann
  • 25Hugill
  • 27Robinson
Referee:
Mark Haywood
Attendance:
8,409

Match Stats

Home TeamChesterfieldAway TeamPreston
Possession
Home65%
Away35%
Shots
Home20
Away11
Shots on Target
Home4
Away3
Corners
Home4
Away0
Fouls
Home6
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Chesterfield 0, Preston North End 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Chesterfield 0, Preston North End 1.

Attempt missed. Daniel Jones (Chesterfield) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.

Attempt blocked. Sam Morsy (Chesterfield) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Corner, Chesterfield. Conceded by Bailey Wright.

Foul by Oliver Banks (Chesterfield).

Daniel Johnson (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Chesterfield. Armand Gnanduillet replaces Jay O'Shea.

Substitution

Substitution, Preston North End. Callum Robinson replaces Jermaine Beckford.

Attempt missed. Joe Garner (Preston North End) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Daniel Johnson.

Offside, Preston North End. Jermaine Beckford tries a through ball, but Joe Garner is caught offside.

Tendayi Darikwa (Chesterfield) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jermaine Beckford (Preston North End).

Attempt missed. Oliver Banks (Chesterfield) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box misses to the right. Assisted by Sam Clucas with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Preston North End. Neil Kilkenny replaces Paul Gallagher.

Substitution

Substitution, Preston North End. Calum Woods replaces Scott Laird.

Substitution

Substitution, Chesterfield. Oliver Banks replaces Dan Gardner.

Attempt saved. Gary Roberts (Chesterfield) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Thomas Lee (Chesterfield) because of an injury.

Attempt saved. Jermaine Beckford (Preston North End) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Joe Garner.

Attempt missed. Sam Clucas (Chesterfield) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Dan Gardner with a cross.

Attempt missed. Scott Laird (Preston North End) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Paul Gallagher.

Foul by Jimmy Ryan (Chesterfield).

Scott Laird (Preston North End) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt missed. Jay O'Shea (Chesterfield) right footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Daniel Jones.

Attempt missed. Jay O'Shea (Chesterfield) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Sam Morsy.

Attempt missed. Gary Roberts (Chesterfield) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Daniel Jones.

Corner, Chesterfield. Conceded by Scott Laird.

Attempt blocked. Gary Roberts (Chesterfield) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jimmy Ryan.

Corner, Chesterfield. Conceded by Scott Laird.

Attempt missed. Jermaine Beckford (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Joe Garner with a headed pass.

Foul by Gary Roberts (Chesterfield).

John Welsh (Preston North End) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Gary Roberts (Chesterfield).

Daniel Johnson (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Booking

Jimmy Ryan (Chesterfield) is shown the yellow card.

Booking

Paul Gallagher (Preston North End) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Delay in match Paul Gallagher (Preston North End) because of an injury.

Jimmy Ryan (Chesterfield) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Bristol City462912596385899
2MK Dons4627109101445791
3Preston462514779403989
4Swindon4623101376571979
5Sheff Utd4619141366531371
6Chesterfield4619121568551369
7Bradford461714155555065
8Rochdale46196217266663
9Peterborough46189195356-363
10Fleetwood461712174952-363
11Barnsley461711186261162
12Gillingham461614166566-162
13Doncaster461613175862-461
14Walsall461417155054-459
15Oldham461415175467-1357
16Scunthorpe461414186275-1356
17Coventry461316174960-1155
18Port Vale46159225565-1054
19Colchester461410225877-1952
20Crewe461410224375-3252
21Notts County461214204563-1850
22Crawley461311225379-2650
23Leyton Orient461213215969-1049
24Yeovil461010263675-3940
View full League One table

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