Written by Ryan Fisher

Preston boosted their play-off hopes with a 2–1 victory over a listless Birmingham City side at Deepdale.

North End took the lead early on as Aiden McGeady’s cross was glanced home off the head of Callum Robinson for the forwards’ ninth goal of the season.

Gianfranco Zola’s blues fired back shortly after the break, when Che Adams unleashed a bouncing volley from the edge of the box.

But Preston were back in the lead with 10 minutes to go as Daryl Horgan’s low square cross was converted by top scorer Jordan Hugill at the back post for his tenth strike of the season.

Moments after the decisive goal Birmingham’s Craig Gardner was sent off for a second bookable offence after a rash challenge on North End full-back Greg Cunningham.

The defeat means Birmingham have won just one of Zola’s 13 games in charge at the club since his arrival, which has seen them slide down the Championship table.

Preston dominated the first half and should’ve converted more opportunities into goals as Aiden McGeady dominated proceedings with his trickery, proving too much to handle for Emilio Nsue.

Birmingham’s superior possession failed to yield better creativity, as the link between the midfield in attack was strained, and easy to deal with for the Preston defensive unit.

After the match, Lilywhites boss Simon Grayson said: “We dominated from start to finish, created some real good chances and there was some outstanding individual performances.

“We just needed a couple more goals to warrant that first-half performance.

“You always know if you don’t take those chances the opposition are going to have some spell in the game.

“We’ve shown a lot of character to stay in a game in the second half; we dug in and took our chances when they came along.”

Was this a fair result? What do you make of your season so far Preston and Birmingham fans? Let us know in the comments below!