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Dublin: 4 °C Wednesday 11 December, 2019
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In-form Irish midfielder inspires Preston to 9th game unbeaten

Alan Browne scored the opening goal as the Championship side played out a draw against Middlesbrough.

Alan Browne in action for the Republic of Ireland during an international friendly earlier this year.
Alan Browne in action for the Republic of Ireland during an international friendly earlier this year.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

IRISH MIDFIELDER ALAN Browne was on target for Preston North End as they played out a draw against Middlesborough in the Championship to stretch their unbeaten run to nine games on Tuesday.

The Cork man opened the scoring for the home side just before half-time, with a low shot following a cross from Brandon Barker.

23-year-old midfielder Browne, who missed Ireland’s most recent match with Denmark due to a shoulder injury, now has six goals in 19 appearances in all competitions this season.

The lead was short-lived, however, as Marcus Tavernier scored an equaliser for Middlesbrough after the restart.

Both sides came close to snatching a winner but had to settle for a share of the spoils in the end.

Preston are in 15th place on the Championship table on 22 points, while Middlesbrough are just behind Leeds United in third position.

Meanwhile, the Elland Road outfit closed the gap on Championship leaders Norwich City with a dramatic 1-0 win over Reading after their promotion rivals were held by lowly Hull City on Tuesday.

Marcelo Bielsa’s side climbed above Middlesbrough into second, moving one point behind Norwich ahead of Saturday’s trip to fellow high-flyers Sheffield United.

Stuart Dallas grabbed Leeds’ winner on the hour, but the points weren’t secure until Bailey Peacock-Farrell saved a last-gasp penalty at Elland Road.

Northern Ireland international Peacock-Farrell kept out Marc McNulty’s spot kick in the final moments to secure Leeds’ second successive victory.

That was bad news for Norwich, who couldn’t break down struggling Hull at the KCOM Stadium.

Norwich went closest to scoring in the first half when Tom Trybull saw his shot saved by David Marshall.

But Trybull was guilty of a bad miss after the break when his header failed to find the target.

Jarrod Bowen had Hull’s best chances to break the deadlock, heading wide in the first half before shooting into the side netting after the break.

Fourth placed Sheffield United stayed in touch with the top two thanks to a 3-2 win at Brentford.

An Ezri Konsa own goal, a sublime Oliver Norwood strike and Leon Clarke second-half effort were enough to consign the Bees to their sixth defeat in seven games and put United to within three points of the top.

Goals from Neal Maupay and Romaine Sawyers were not enough to ease the pressure on new Brentford head coach Thomas Frank.

Elsewhere, Sheffield Wednesday beat Bolton 1-0 and Rotherham drew 2-2 with QPR.

Additional reporting by AFP

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