Preston 2 Leeds Utd 0
PRESTON NORTH END: Nash, Alexander, Davis (Wilson 45), Mawene, Hill,Whaley, McKenna (Sedgwick 67), Jarrett, Stock (Nugent 84),Dichio, Ormerod.
Subs Not Used: Agyemang, Lewis Neal.
LEEDS UTD: Sullivan, Richardson, Gregan, Kilgallon, Pugh, Walton,Blake (Griffiths 66), Stone, Douglas, Healy,Moore (Beckford 51).
Subs Not Used: Bennett, Einarsson, Harding.
It's fine to play down the importance of this game, saying 'why should we give too much away'? But this put the fear of God into me, as Leeds simply weren't at the races!
A goals in each half from Brian Stock and Brett Ormerod earned Preston a victory that takes North End into the play-offs on the back of an eight-game unbeaten run. And that MUST boost their chances, particularly as they now have the home fixture in the second leg.
It was an even contest until Stock curled a free-kick around a poor Leeds defensive wall to score his first goal since joining from Bournemouth. But Leeds wilted after that.
A less competitive second period saw Preston hold fort in the middle of the park and Leeds doing very little to try and budge them. But as the game drew to a close, Ormerod forced the ball home after a goalmouth scramble to seal the points in the 77th minute.
Leeds finish the season with one win in 10 matches and although they had decent spells in each half, they rarely looked like getting back on terms.
Meanwhile, North End were also boosted by the surprise return of David Nugent as a substitute following a broken metatarsal last month.
Can we seriously make a case for this game? Obviously Preston will be delighted with it. As for Blackwell? Has he pulled the wool over their eyes? Let's hope so!