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Rotherham 1-2 Preston: Visitors keep play-off hopes alive
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Jonathan Veal
Press Association
Ched Evans’ eighth goal in 12 league games gave Preston a 2-1 win at Rotherham (Nigel French/PA)
Ched Evans’ eighth goal in 12 league games gave Preston a 2-1 win at Rotherham (Nigel French/PA)

Preston kept their slim Sky Bet Championship play-off hopes alive with a 2-1 win at Rotherham, who are still looking over their shoulder at the relegation zone.

First-half goals from Tom Cannon and Ched Evans saw North End stretch their unbeaten run to seven games and move to five points off the top six.

With nine games to go and plenty of teams above them with an extra game to play it looks an outside bet that they qualify, but they still have something to play for.

The Millers, who equalised through Hakeem Odoffin, saw their cushion above the drop zone cut to five points after Blackpool beat QPR 6-1 and Saturday’s clash with Cardiff now looks to have taken on extra significance.

Things might have been different had Rotherham’s strong start, with Chiedozie Ogbene causing trouble down the right, been rewarded with a goal.

But they could not muster anything meaningful on the Preston goal and it was the visitors who took the lead against the run of play midway through the first half.

After Tarique Fosu miscontrolled in his own half, Alan Browne sent a curling cross to the far post where Robbie Brady headed back across goal for Cannon to poke home from close range.

Rotherham’s response was good and they should have been level three minutes later but an unmarked Jordan Hugill, playing against his former club, put a free header from Wes Harding’s cross well over.

The hosts continued to push and a deserved equaliser came 10 minutes before time.

Shane Ferguson sent in a wicked corner to the near post where Odoffin ghosted off his marker and flashed a powerful header into the roof of the net.

But Preston regained the lead in first-half injury time when Evans produced a sublime turn and shot, which arrowed into the bottom corner for his ninth goal in 12 league games.

That proved the perfect tonic for the visitors and they came out firing in the second half, creating enough chances to have the game wrapped up by the hour-mark.

Cannon saw a chipped effort glance off the crossbar after he held off a challenge from Cameron Humphreys before Ched Evans’ goalbound shot was blocked by Odoffin, with Bambo Diaby blazing a good chance over from the resulting corner.

Rotherham tried to get themselves back in the game but failed to get anywhere near an equaliser, with Odoffin’s 35th-minute equaliser their only shot on target in the whole match.


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