Championship
BirminghamBirmingham City0PrestonPreston North End1

Birmingham City 0-1 Preston: Scott Sinclair scores winner for visitors

Preston
Preston had lost their previous two league games without scoring

Preston North End boosted their Championship play-off hopes with a narrow win over Birmingham City at St Andrew's.

After an even first half, the visitors should have taken the lead shortly after the break when Brad Potts wasted a great opportunity when he could only fire a low shot against the post.

Potts then drew a fine save from home goalkeeper Neil Etheridge before Preston eventually made their pressure tell when Scott Sinclair found the bottom corner.

Blues pushed for a leveller but North End managed to keep them at bay through seven minutes of added time to pick up a first win in three matches.

It was another dire night at home for Aitor Karanka's men, who have now lost six straight matches at St Andrew's and only picked up one point in nine home games.

Blues had recorded victory at Middlesbrough at the weekend to end a run of six league games without a win but they are now just six points above the relegation zone, having played three games more than 22nd-placed Rotherham.

In at times torrential rain, Preston's winner was the only real moment of quality, when Sinclair turned sharply on the halfway line and fed Jayson Molumby who drove forward before teeing up the former Aston Villa man to slot home his eighth of the season.

Alex Neil's men are seven points adrift of the play-off places ahead of Sunday's home game with promotion-chasing Reading.

Birmingham City manager Aitor Karanka:

"This group of players deserve to be much higher in the table. We need to do a lot of things to win games and on the other hand we have lost games we didn't deserve to lose.

"With the confidence and commitment we are a different team than we were two weeks ago.

"In 10 games played in the same way, maybe three or four we would have won and another six we would have drawn."

Preston boss Alex Neil:

"We've had a bit of a transitional season which was always going to come because of contracts and different things.

"To come and win in the manner we did, be 10th and a bit outside the play-offs, we've done pretty well.

"Hopefully this year, but certainly next year, is going to be a big year for us."

Line-ups

Birmingham

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 30Etheridge
  • 2Colin
  • 19San José
  • 12Dean
  • 5FriendBooked at 22mins
  • 6Kieftenbeld
  • 34Sunjic
  • 17SánchezSubstituted forGardnerat 73'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 23ToralSubstituted forLekoat 60'minutes
  • 11BelaSubstituted forHalilovicat 73'minutes
  • 9HoganSubstituted forJutkiewiczat 60'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Pedersen
  • 4Roberts
  • 8Clayton
  • 10Jutkiewicz
  • 14Leko
  • 20Gardner
  • 25Dacres-Cogley
  • 27Trueman
  • 35Halilovic

Preston

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 22Iversen
  • 8Browne
  • 23Huntington
  • 6Davies
  • 16Hughes
  • 17Whiteman
  • 18Ledson
  • 31SinclairSubstituted forBarkhuizenat 77'minutes
  • 21MolumbySubstituted forJohnsonat 86'minutes
  • 44Potts
  • 19Riis Jakobsen

Substitutes

  • 2Fisher
  • 3Earl
  • 7Bayliss
  • 11Johnson
  • 12Gallagher
  • 15Rafferty
  • 25Ripley
  • 26Evans
  • 29Barkhuizen
Referee:
Tony Harrington

Match Stats

Home TeamBirminghamAway TeamPreston
Possession
Home56%
Away44%
Shots
Home14
Away6
Shots on Target
Home2
Away2
Corners
Home5
Away3
Fouls
Home9
Away8

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Birmingham City 0, Preston North End 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Birmingham City 0, Preston North End 1.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Mikel San José (Birmingham City).

  4. Post update

    Emil Riis Jakobsen (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  5. Post update

    Alen Halilovic (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Ryan Ledson (Preston North End).

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jonathan Leko (Birmingham City) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Maikel Kieftenbeld.

  8. Post update

    Foul by George Friend (Birmingham City).

  9. Post update

    Tom Barkhuizen (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Booking

    Gary Gardner (Birmingham City) is shown the yellow card.

  11. Post update

    Offside, Preston North End. Daniel Johnson tries a through ball, but Emil Riis Jakobsen is caught offside.

  12. Post update

    Maxime Colin (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Daniel Johnson (Preston North End).

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Preston North End. Daniel Johnson replaces Jayson Molumby because of an injury.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ivan Sunjic (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Jonathan Leko.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Jonathan Leko (Birmingham City).

  17. Post update

    Alan Browne (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. Mikel San José (Birmingham City) header from the centre of the box misses to the left following a corner.

  19. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Mikel San José (Birmingham City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Maikel Kieftenbeld.

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. Maikel Kieftenbeld (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Alen Halilovic following a corner.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Norwich25165435211453
2Swansea24137429131646
3Brentford23128337211644
4Watford24127528171143
5Reading2413473728943
6Bournemouth25119538211742
7Middlesbrough24116730201039
8Stoke2591063026437
9Bristol City24113102526-136
10Preston25112123133-235
11Barnsley25104112732-534
12Blackburn2496939281133
13Luton2596102127-633
14Huddersfield2594122835-731
15Cardiff2485113028229
16Millwall2461172124-329
17QPR246992330-727
18Coventry2468102234-1226
19Birmingham2568111830-1226
20Nottm Forest2567122029-925
21Derby2457121525-1022
22Rotherham2255122332-920
23Sheff Wed2367101523-819
24Wycombe2336141635-1915
View full Championship table

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