Preston North end romped to a 4-2 win over Sheffield Wednesday at Deepdale last night to keep themselves in touch with the Nationwide League First Division promotion race and ensure the hapless Hillsborough side remain in the bottom three.
On a pitch made treacherous by the deluge that preceded the match, goals from Dickson Etuhu, Jon Macken, the debutant Paul Reid and substitute David Healy gave the hosts a comfortable win.
Etuhu, who arrived from Manchester City last month, headed in a corner for his first goal in a North End shirt. Macken added the second with a low 10-yard shot, but Graham Alexander's slip allowed Alan Quinn to pull one back.
After the interval Matthew Hamshaw and then David Johnson, on loan from Nottingham Forest, wasted easy opportunities to equalise for Wednesday. They were made to pay when Reid, on loan from Rangers, headed in a corner. Then Etuhu set up Healy for his ninth of the campaign.
Wednesday pulled another back when Efan Ekoku drilled home from the spot after Trond-Egil Soltvedt was fouled, but it was not enough and a desperate survival battle beckons.
In the Second Division, Brighton's 1-0 win at home to Tranmere Rovers took them to within four points of the leaders, Reading. Gary Hart's second-half goal secured the points for the Sussex side, who have a game in hand.
Third-placed Bristol City saw off Queen's Park Rangers 2-0 at Ashton Gate. The goals, from Scott Murray and Tony Thorpe, came at either end of the first half.
Down in the Third Division the leaders Plymouth Argyle battled to a 1-0 win at Swansea City courtesy of a first goal in English football from Blair Sturrock, the son of manager Paul Sturrock, whose side are once again seven points clear at the top of the table.Reuse content