Championship
Sheff Utd0Preston1

Sheffield United 0-1 Preston North End

Alan Browne
Alan Browne netted his seventh Championship goal of the season

Alan Browne's second-half winner kept alive Preston North End's Championship play-off hopes, but ended those of Sheffield United.

Browne poked home the winner, pouncing when Blades goalkeeper Jamal Blackman parried Josh Harrop's shot.

United had the best chance of a cagey first half, Leon Clarke forcing a point-blank save from Declan Rudd.

The win brought Preston within two points of Derby County in the final play-off spot.

Both sides kicked off needing victory to maintain their play-off chances, as well as other results to go their way.

But clear openings were thin on the ground in the first half, with Clarke's effort the only attempt on target.

The game opened up after the break and, following Browne's goal, Preston substitute Tom Clarke touched Tom Barkhuizen's header into the net - but from an offside position.

United piled forward for an equaliser as David Brooks' shot was pushed over by Rudd, and Mark Duffy's effort deflected wide, but the visitors held on for only their second win at Bramall Lane in their last 19 visits.

The Lilywhites moved up two places to seventh, but will be leapfrogged by Millwall if they avoid defeat at Middlesbrough (17:30 BST), while the Blades stayed 11th.

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder:

"We've come a very long way in a short space of time and for us to take it to the 45th game - I don't think anybody would've expected that.

"Ultimately we're disappointed today that we didn't finish off our home campaign which, I believe, has been very very positive.

"We've had some great results, and possibly more performances than results."

Preston North End manager Alex Neil:

"It's certainly one of those games where we'll take the result and the performance separately.

"It's probably as poor as we've played technically in terms of moving the ball and controlling the game, but we still managed to win the game.

"I don't want to take anything away from the players. They've dug in and done what they had to do to get the result, but it's certainly not a vintage performance from us."

Line-ups

Sheff Utd

  • 27Blackman
  • 6Basham
  • 19StearmanSubstituted forLeonardat 80'minutes
  • 5O'Connell
  • 18FreemanSubstituted forBaldockat 76'minutes
  • 20EvansBooked at 52minsSubstituted forBrooksat 66'minutes
  • 21Duffy
  • 4FleckBooked at 44mins
  • 3StevensBooked at 66mins
  • 9Clarke
  • 10SharpBooked at 81mins

Substitutes

  • 1Moore
  • 2Baldock
  • 7Lundstram
  • 11Donaldson
  • 14Leonard
  • 24Lafferty
  • 36Brooks

Preston

  • 1RuddBooked at 90mins
  • 14FisherBooked at 28mins
  • 23Huntington
  • 20Davies
  • 3Cunningham
  • 4Pearson
  • 11JohnsonSubstituted forClarkeat 67'minutes
  • 8Browne
  • 10HarropBooked at 31minsSubstituted forGallagherat 67'minutes
  • 37Robinson
  • 24MaguireSubstituted forBarkhuizenat 58'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Clarke
  • 12Gallagher
  • 21Moult
  • 22Maxwell
  • 29Barkhuizen
  • 32Earl
  • 39Bodin
Referee:
James Linington
Attendance:
28,568

Match Stats

Home TeamSheff UtdAway TeamPreston
Possession
Home58%
Away42%
Shots
Home18
Away9
Shots on Target
Home4
Away3
Corners
Home13
Away3
Fouls
Home21
Away14

Live Text

Match ends, Sheffield United 0, Preston North End 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Sheffield United 0, Preston North End 1.

Foul by Billy Sharp (Sheffield United).

Declan Rudd (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Darnell Fisher.

Booking

Declan Rudd (Preston North End) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by Leon Clarke (Sheffield United).

Darnell Fisher (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by John Fleck.

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Enda Stevens.

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Jamal Blackman.

Attempt saved. Callum Robinson (Preston North End) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Ben Pearson.

Foul by Jack O'Connell (Sheffield United).

Declan Rudd (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Ben Pearson.

Attempt blocked. Mark Duffy (Sheffield United) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. David Brooks (Sheffield United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by John Fleck with a cross.

Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Greg Cunningham.

Foul by Enda Stevens (Sheffield United).

Callum Robinson (Preston North End) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Offside, Sheffield United. John Fleck tries a through ball, but Billy Sharp is caught offside.

Attempt saved. John Fleck (Sheffield United) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ryan Leonard.

Chris Basham (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Tom Barkhuizen (Preston North End).

Booking

Billy Sharp (Sheffield United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Billy Sharp (Sheffield United).

Paul Huntington (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Sheffield United. Ryan Leonard replaces Richard Stearman.

Mark Duffy (Sheffield United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Ben Pearson (Preston North End).

Offside, Sheffield United. John Fleck tries a through ball, but David Brooks is caught offside.

Attempt missed. John Fleck (Sheffield United) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left following a corner.

Attempt blocked. John Fleck (Sheffield United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by David Brooks.

Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Declan Rudd.

Attempt saved. David Brooks (Sheffield United) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Mark Duffy.

Substitution

Substitution, Sheffield United. George Baldock replaces Kieron Freeman.

Foul by Billy Sharp (Sheffield United).

Greg Cunningham (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Jack O'Connell (Sheffield United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Callum Robinson (Preston North End).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Wolves45309682364699
2Cardiff452781069393089
3Fulham452513778433588
4Aston Villa4524111072413183
5Middlesbrough452291465432275
6Derby4519151166471972
7Preston4518161155451070
8Millwall4518151255451069
9Brentford4518141361511068
10Bristol City4517161265551067
11Sheff Utd45199175953666
12Norwich451515154855-760
13Ipswich45178205558-359
14Leeds45169205764-757
15QPR451511195868-1056
16Sheff Wed451315175459-554
17Nottm Forest45158224962-1353
18Hull451115196969048
19Reading451013224870-2243
20Birmingham45127263567-3243
21Barnsley45914224768-2141
22Burton451011243779-4241
23Bolton45913233672-3640
24Sunderland45616234980-3134
View full Championship table

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