Preston North End slipped out of the Championship's automatic promotion places as Wolverhampton Wanderers reignited their top-six challenge thanks to their leading scorer Seyi George Olofinjana's seventh goal of the season.
Wolves, themselves harbouring hopes of playing at a higher level next season via the play-offs, took the lead after eight minutes when Michael McIndoe started a left-wing move and set up Andy Keogh. His shot beat the home goalkeeper, Andy Lonergan, but was cleared off the line by Matt Hill, who then blocked the follow-up by Stephen Ward. However, the Preston full-back could do nothing to prevent a third Wolves attempt and Olofinjana fired in.
Preston had lost only once in the League at Deepdale this season and Michael Ricketts and Graham Alexander both hit the woodwork, but Wolves were good value for the three points.
"We lost it because we des-erved to lose," Paul Simpson, the Preston manager, admitted, "having been outrun, outfought and outplayed by a Wolves side who showed a real hunger to get something out of it."
Recovery was made all the more unlikely for North End when Kelvin Wilson was sent off for pulling back Andy Keogh. They drop to third.
"I thought today we were good value," a delighted Wolves manager, Mick McCarthy, said. "I don't think it was a fact of Preston not offering much, I think we outplayed them. I'd like to be in the play-offs. There isn't a great deal between any of us."Reuse content