Preston North End slipped further into trouble after falling to an away defeat at Barnsley.Advertisement
The Lilywhites went down 2-0 in the war of the roses and find themselves seven points from safety.
Preston went into the game in desperate need of a win to boost their struggling season, but faced a Barnsley side with only one home defeat in the last six games.
Former Barnsley player Iain Hume started in midfield as the Lilywhites opted for an attacking 3-5-2 formation with Nathan Ellington and Leon Clarke up front.
The game started slowly and it was Barnsley who created the first real chance of the game, with Danny Haynes forcing defender Leon Cort to make a clearance off the line.
The Yorkshiremen were ahead soon after as O’Connor scored from the edge of the area via an unfortunate deflection off Cort.
Having gone ahead, the home side started to control the middle part of the half.
Preston did start to come back into the match as half time approached with Iain Hume forcing keeper Luke Steel into a fine save.
The second half started in scrappy fashion and North End received three bookings in the space of five minutes as they struggled to get back in the match.
Keith Treacy and Adam Barton entered the game on the hour replacing Morgan and Barry Nicholson as the team switched to a 4-4-2 formation.
Within two minutes of coming on Barton produced Preston’s best chance of the second half so far, forcing Steel into a good save.
Few clear cut chances were created for either side and Preston manager Phil Brown threw on Danny Mayor for Leon Clarke to try and salvage something from the game.
The Championship’s bottom club had reason to be optimistic as full time approached having scored late goals in their last two games.
A Treacy corner was cleared off the line as Preston started banging on the door for an equaliser, with Treacy again coming closest, forcing Steel into a save direct from a free kick just before injury time.
A swift counter attack in stoppage time resulted in a two on one situation at the back allowing Jacob Butterfield to square for Haynes to finish off the match.
Although the result does leave Preston seven points from safety, they do have two games in hand on fourth from bottom Crystal Palace.
Image rights belong to Flickr user hpulling.