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Wednesday 8 February 2023 Dublin: 7°C
Inpho/Photojoiner The Republic of Ireland stars played the full game for Preston North End.
# In The Lead
Irish duo Browne and Maguire help Preston go top of Championship for first time in 13 years
Alex Neil’s side took pole position in the second tier following a victory over Charlton.

IRISH DUO ALAN Browne and Sean Maguire both featured for Preston North End as they climbed up to the top of the Championship table following a 1-0 win over Charlton.

Both players completed the full 90 minutes for the victorious Lilywhites, while Irish midfielder Josh Cullen played from the start for Charlton.

Former Ireland youth international Joe Rafferty also lined out for Preston.

On the eve of the match, Preston had refused bottom-of-the-table Stoke permission to talk to their manager Neil with the Scot reiterating his commitment to the club.

And Neil will continue to target a promotion push rather than a battle to survive as his side moved ahead of Leeds and Swansea at the top of the table on goal difference for the first time in 13 years.

The only goal of a bad-tempered encounter came just before the hour mark when Jason Pearce barged into Jayden Stockley as they challenged for a cross from the left.

Gallagher hammered home the resulting penalty and nearly set up a second moments later when his corner was met by Tom Barkhuizen, who could not turn the ball home.

One goal was enough, though, as Charlton missed their chance to level deep into stoppage time Ben Purrington was unable to force the ball home after Preston goalkeeper Declan Rudd flapped at a corner.

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Additional reporting by Sinéad Farrell

- © AFP 2019 

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