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Ryan Byrne/INPHO Alan Browne was on target again for Preston this weekend.
# Wrap
Ireland's Browne bags 10th Preston goal of the season while O'Neill earns first win as Forest boss
Meanwhile, Leeds extended their advantage at the top of the Championship after rallying to defeat Rotherham.

IRISH MIDFIELDER ALAN Browne continued his fine form in front of goal by scoring his 10th goal of the season for Preston North End this weekend.

Browne opened the scoring for his side after 20 minutes against Stoke City, firing a shot home from the edge of the box to put Preston ahead before the half-time break.

Brad Potts secured the victory for Alex Neil’s charges with 10 minutes of normal time remaining in the second half, slotting the ball home after a cool finish.

Preston withstood huge pressure from Stoke to prevent a goal throughout the tie with goalkeeper Declan Rudd making two important saves, including a stoppage time penalty.

The result sees Preston climb up to 16th place on the Championship table.

Meanwhile, Martin O’Neill claimed his first win as Nottingham Forest manager after they saw off struggling Wigan 3-1.

Joe Lolley, Matty Cash and Adlene Guedioura were all on target for the former Republic of Ireland boss.

Lolley opened the scoring in the 19th minute and, although that was cancelled out by Josh Windass just after the half hour.

Cash then restored Forest’s lead just after the resumption of play.

Guedioura doubled Forest’s advantage after 80 minutes before Latics substitute Joe Garner saw his late penalty saved by goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon.

Nottingham Forest v Wigan Athletic - Sky Bet Championship - The City Ground PA Wire / PA Images Martin O'Neill looks on during Nottingham Forest's victory over Wigan. PA Wire / PA Images / PA Images

Mateusz Klich bagged a second-half double as Leeds came from behind to beat Rotherham 2-1 and extend their lead at the top of the Championship to three points.

Amid the furore caused by Marcelo Bielsa’s revelation he had spied on each of his Championship opponents training sessions this season, Leeds’ promotion push had stumbled of late with three defeats in their previous four outings.

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Another bad day seemed set to follow when they fell behind to Semi Ajayi’s thunderbolt from 25 yards out after 28 minutes.

However, Klich struck early and late in the second period for his first goals since October.

In a further boost to Leeds’ challenge to return to the Premier League after a 15-year absence, their closest challengers Norwich and Sheffield United played out a 2-2 draw at Carrow Road.

Norwich went ahead after 11 minutes when Onel Hernandez calmly finished between the legs of visiting goalkeeper Dean Henderson, but the Blades drew level on the stroke of half-time through Billy Sharp’s penalty after Enda Stevens was fouled in the area.

Teemu Pukki restored the Canaries’ lead when he flicked beyond Henderson before the hour, but Sharp bagged his 19th of the season when he headed home in the 79th minute.

Blackburn leapfrogged Hull and moved to within three points of the top six after a comprehensive 3-0 victory at Ewood Park.

Aston Villa are just a point behind Blackburn after the on-form Tammy Abraham’s double helped them overcome rock-bottom Ipswich 2-1.

Abraham opened the scoring after just six minutes and then doubled their lead from the penalty spot just after the hour following Alan Judge’s foul on John McGinn.

Freddie Sears struck after 76 minutes to set up a grandstand finish but Villa held on.

© AFP, 2019

Additional reporting by Sinéad Farrell

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