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Millwall back on track with win over Preston
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Zian Flemming struck for Millwall (George Tewkesbury/PA)
Zian Flemming struck for Millwall (George Tewkesbury/PA)

Millwall ended their four-match winless run in the Championship with a 2-0 victory over fellow play-off contenders Preston at the Den.

Tom Bradshaw and Zian Flemming struck to leave the Lions fifth in the table.

The first chance of the contest fell to Preston when former Millwall loanee Troy Parrott found some space in the box but failed to trouble goalkeeper George Long.

The hosts were then forced into an early substitution with Scott Malone having to replace Murray Wallace after just six minutes.

But despite having not scored in their previous four games, it was the hosts who took the lead in the 14th minute when Bradshaw headed in Flemming’s inch-perfect cross for his 15th goal of the season.

Just three minutes later, Preston almost found an equaliser. Long made a superb double stop to firstly deny Josh Onomah and then Parrott’s follow-up.

Gary Rowett’s side had the fourth best defence in the Championship coming into this match and they were made to work throughout as Preston were always a threat.

Everton loanee Tom Cannon’s goals have been behind North End’s recent surge up the Championship table, including four in his last three games.

He got his first sight of goal in the 19th minute but his effort was blocked. Seven minutes later, he fired a shot wide of the far post.

North End’s dominance was evident and Long was forced into another save, denying Andrew Hughes in the 32nd minute.

The hosts had the first chance of the second period, Malone’s free-kick was headed down into the ground by Shaun Hutchinson but did not prove a problem for Preston keeper Freddie Woodman.

Defender Hughes, who tested Long in the first half, crossed for Daniel Johnson but the Preston skipper’s scuffed shot was easy work for the Lions goalkeeper.

The visitors called for a penalty on the hour mark after Parrott went down off the challenge of George Saville, but referee Tim Robinson was unmoved.

Hutchinson made a last ditch tackle to prevent Onomah a clear one on one with Long as the visitors’ quest for an equaliser intensified.

However, in the 72nd minute against the run of play, Millwall doubled their advantage. Malone’s free-kick was headed on by Jake Cooper into the path of Flemming who fired past Woodman, netting his 14th goal of the campaign.

Substitute Alvaro Fernandez set up Manchester City loanee Liam Delap in the 79th minute but he was denied by a wonderful goal-line clearance from Malone.


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