Preston 0-2 Sheffield United: Eliman Ndiaye and Ole McBurney win promotion to the championship | football news

Oli McBurney’s fourth goal in five league games helped Sheffield United extend their lead to three points at the top of the Sky Bet Championship after a 2-0 win away to Preston.

Scotland international striker Makberni hit the net from close range 15 minutes before the end of the match after Senegalese midfielder Eliman Ndiaye hit the visitors before the end of the first half.

Paul Hickingbottom’s booming win was also his fourth consecutive league win, and he extended his impressive unbeaten run to eight games.

Norwich fell, drawing 1-1 at home with West Brom, and losing two points to the league leaders.

Preston coach Ryan Lowe made three changes from the team that drew 1-1 with Burnley in the Lancashire derby on Tuesday night at Debdeil.

Alvaro Fernandes, recruited on loan from Manchester United, has earned his first league appearance after appearing as a substitute five times in the league so far this season.

Republic of Ireland international midfielder Alan Brown is back in the starting line-up, with defender Andrew Hughes given a chance to shine.

Heckingbottom made one change to his team that beat Swansea 1-0 away from home, also on Tuesday night.

Striker Rhian Brewster started with midfielder Tommy Doyle falling off the bench, which also saw the inclusion of veteran team killer Billy Sharp.

And it was the South Yorkshire visitors who started to shine when Brewster chased a ball on the left and saw his broken left-footed shot fly off the erect.

McBurney caught a fine cross from George Baldock, but his shot from the net was well saved by central defender Liam Lindsey.

At the other end, quarterback Ben Whiteman fired a howitzer that flew over the bar.

Midfielder Ali Makan hit a right-footed shot that deflected away from the post as the hosts advanced in the match, before striker Emil Reis-Jacobsen fired the ball wide.

McCann nodded from Fernandez’s delivery as Lilywhites pushed for an opening, while Whiteman slammed from the edge of the box with another shout.

Striker Troy Parrott, on loan from Tottenham, hit a right-footed shot that veered off goal for Preston, but it was the visitors who scored the first goal in the net.

An indecisive Whiteman was robbed by Ndiaye who kept his cool and slammed the house off the inside post five minutes before halftime.

Ndiaye could have scored a second goal in the first half, to see his shot from close range that goalkeeper Freddy Woodman saved.

Baldock came close to doubling the lead just two minutes into the second half, but his shot went past Woodman’s post.

But it was McBurnie who took another welcome win on the road when he came in from close range in front of about 5,000 Blades fans.

Midfielder Sander Berg hit the ball off Hughes, who rattled in the process, but managed to tip the ball to McBurney to score.

Substitute Daniel Johnson created Brown with some dribbling, but his left-footed shot was brilliantly saved by Blades goalkeeper Wes Fodringham.

Sean Maguire, the other substitute, fell into the penalty area after a strong death challenge, but referee Jeremy Simpson refused to appeal the death sentence.

What did the managers say…

Preston Ryan Lowe: “It was a tough score, but I thought we played some great things. We finished with a long ball at the top end of the field. We didn’t clear our lines and leave it to a scorer, who finds a way to get it into the back of our net.

“We are disappointed that we played a lot of good things against the leaders. Once again, we couldn’t find this tough advantage.”

Sheffield United Paul Hickingbottom: “We wanted to be better in the second half than we were in the first. I think our goal woke us up, to be honest. We were scared in the first half and we weren’t as aggressive as we usually were. We were second to things and that’s what we needed to improve on. All of them.” They will be disappointed in the first half, but they were better in the second.

“There were some people who applied themselves all the way to the levels we expect and what we want, but it wasn’t a lack of effort, it was more that we didn’t show the same strength in the first half. The best part of the match for us in the first half was the five minutes. The last. We know we needed to be better in the second half and we were. We were strong at the end, it was a solid off-ground performance.”