Preston North End 3-0 Derby County: Wayne Rooney under pressure after Rams defeat

Preston players celebrate a goal against Derby
Preston won for the second time in five matches under interim boss Frankie McAvoy

Derby County’s relegation worries deepened as the Rams suffered a fourth successive Championship defeat at Preston North End.

Ben Whiteman headed the Lilywhites in front in the 18th minute before Tom Lawrence had a potential equaliser ruled out for offside midway through the first half.

Ched Evans doubled Preston’s lead with 17 minutes left when he pounced on a loose ball to score from close range and Ryan Ledson’s low free-kick from wide on the left made it 3-0 in the closing stages.

Derby have now won just one of their past 12 outings and Wayne Rooney’s men remain four points above the relegation zone.

However, the Rams have played three more games than 22nd-placed Rotherham United, who host Middlesbrough on Wednesday (18:00 BST).

Fellow strugglers Sheffield Wednesday are also four points behind Derby after beating Blackburn, and the Owls travel to Pride Park on the final day of the campaign.

Relegation worries deepen for Rams and Rooney

Derby dominated possession at Deepdale but they are the lowest scorers in the Championship and failed the take the chances which came their way.

The visitors fell behind when Alan Browne crossed from the right-hand side of the box for Whiteman to powerfully head home from 10 yards out.

Lawrence was ahead of the Preston defence when he converted a through ball from Patrick Roberts nine minutes later, and Rooney made a double change at the break to try and revive his side’s fortunes.

Substitute Martyn Waghorn saw an effort blocked before George Edmundson drew a save from Preston keeper Daniel Iversen and Colin Kazim-Richards sent the rebound wide.

After Matt Clarke and Max Bird sent efforts over the Lilywhites bar, Evans capitalised to make it 2-0 when Rams keeper David Marshall could only parry Brad Potts’ cross from the left up in the air.

And, after Rams had another goal ruled out for a foul on Iversen as Nathan Byrne’s inswinging corner went straight in, Ledson’s free-kick went through a crowd of bodies and into the bottom right-hand corner of Marshall’s goal.

Last week, Rooney had told fans not to panic about the prospect of relegation to League One, but Derby may need other results to go their way to avoid falling into the third tier for the first time since 1985-86.

Preston North End interim head coach Frankie McAvoy:

“I thought we were extremely disciplined right from the start tonight. We knew it was a big game and the first goal would be crucial to the game.

“We had to then go on and weather a bit of a storm in the first 15 minutes after the break, but we stood up to it, got the second goal and the third goal was the icing on the cake.

“That means we now have three clean sheets from five games and the lads deserve a lot of credit for that. I cannot ask any more from the lads, their team spirit has been magnificent.”

Derby County manager Wayne Rooney told BBC Radio Derby:

“The first goal of the game is a number of mistakes from players who have been very important to us, so it’s part of the game that’s very frustrating as a manager.

“We are conceding too many sloppy goals and yet again a few half-chances for us, but we don’t score.

“We have given ourselves an uphill battle in the next three games. We have to hope that other teams lose and we have to try and win our games to give ourselves a chance of staying in the league.”



Formation 3-5-2

  • 22Iversen
  • 14Storey
  • 6Lindsay
  • 16Hughes
  • 2van den Berg
  • 18LedsonSubstituted forMolumbyat 90+1′minutes
  • 8Browne
  • 17WhitemanSubstituted forPottsat 66′minutes
  • 37Cunningham
  • 29BarkhuizenSubstituted forRiis Jakobsenat 85′minutes
  • 26EvansSubstituted forMaguireat 90+1′minutes


  • 7Bayliss
  • 19Riis Jakobsen
  • 21Molumby
  • 23Huntington
  • 24Maguire
  • 25Ripley
  • 31Sinclair
  • 42Gordon
  • 44Potts


Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Marshall
  • 12ByrneBooked at 86mins
  • 2WisdomSubstituted forEdmundsonat 34′minutes
  • 16Clarke
  • 3ForsythSubstituted forBuchananat 45′minutes
  • 8Bird
  • 4ShinnieSubstituted forEboseleat 77′minutes
  • 23Roberts
  • 10Lawrence
  • 38KnightSubstituted forWaghornat 45′minutes
  • 13Kazim-Richards


  • 6Edmundson
  • 9Waghorn
  • 17Sibley
  • 21Roos
  • 26Buchanan
  • 28Dixon
  • 29Ebosele
  • 40Watson
  • 46Brown

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