Blackburn Rovers 1-2 Preston North End

Preston equalise at Blackburn

Joe Garner scored his sixth goal of the season from the penalty spot

Preston North End kept their slim play-off hopes alive with a narrow win at 10-man Blackburn.

The hosts took the lead through Elliott Ward before Shane Duffy was sent off for handling a Joe Garner effort on the line and the former Rovers striker then levelled from the spot.

Jordan Hugill’s volley put Preston in front just before the break.

Rovers pressed for an equaliser after the break, but visiting keeper Anders Lindegaard was largely untroubled.

The home defeat capped a bad week for Rovers after they announced the club’s debts have exceeded £100m earlier this week.

They started brightly and Ward’s close-range volley after Hope Akpan’s header had come back off the bar gave them a deserved lead before Duffy’s red card changed the complexion of the match.

Preston have now won six of their last 10 matches and are six points outside the play-off places, with seven games to play.

They host struggling Fulham on Tuesday, while Paul Lambert’s 14th-placed Rovers travel to Sheffield Wednesday.

Blackburn boss Paul Lambert:

“I’m disappointed to lose. It was an absolutely fantastic effort with 10 men.

“I thought we started the game brilliantly, were well on top, got the goal. The penalty changes the course of the game, but it should never have been a penalty.

“Danny Graham was fouled at the edge of the box so the ball should have never been at that end of the pitch, because Danny has nutmegged the guy. You can see with Danny’s reaction that he’s definitely been fouled.

“I thought today, he got more calls wrong than he got right. If there’s a delegate here or somebody watching it, maybe they might get a phone call in the morning.”

Preston manager Simon Grayson:

“He’s done well, Jordan. He’s a handful. He knows what he needs to do.

“I’m delighted for him. It’s a great ball from Gally (Paul Gallagher). He knows where to put it and the areas for people to get into.

“It wasn’t an easy finish but he’s delighted and we were all delighted to see it hit the back of the net.

“I think it (the sending off) was the correct decision. They started the game better than us. I’m disappointed we gave away the goal we did but it’s handball on the line and the referee made the right decision.”

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