Martin Rickett Sean Maguire (right) celebrates his opening goal.
# championship action
Maguire on target for Preston as Leeds take a stride to promotion
James McClean was on target in a crucial win for Stoke against fellow strugglers Luton.

SEANI MAGUIRE WAS on target as Preston ended a run of four straight defeats with a 2-1 win over Fulham. The Irish striker opened the scoring after 23 minutes, a lead which was doubled by David Nugent early in the second half.

Aleksander Mitrovic scored late on to set up a nervy finale, but Preston clung on. 

Both sides played much of the game with 10 men: Fulham saw Denis Odoi sent off after 28 minutes, while former Irish underage international Joe Rafferty saw red for Preston on the 45-minute mark. 

That result did Leeds United a big favour, as it meant their 2-0 win at home to Hull City sent them 11 points clear of third place and the spectre of again settling for a place in the play-offs. 

Leeds’ goals came late, as a Jordy de Wijs own goal gave them a 73rd-minute lead which was made more comfortable by Ezgjan Alioski eight minutes from the end. 

Elsewhere tonight, James McClean was on target as Stoke City earned a crucial 3-0 win over Luton. The Irish international opened the scoring, with Joe Allen adding another two in either half. 

The result draws Luton closer to the relegation zone, and they now lie one place and three points ahead of Michael O’Neill’s side. 

Callum O’Dowda was also on the scoresheet tonight, but his goal couldn’t prevent Bristol City crashing to a 2-1 home defeat to Millwall. 

Middlesbrough remain mired at the wrong end of the table after a 1-1 draw away to Nottingham Forest, a result that leaves Forest one place behind O’Dowda’s side. 

Huddersfield, meanwhile, secured a 1-0 win away to Charlton.

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