Preston 1 Middlesbrough 3

28 December 2010 06:12
MIDDLESBROUGH managed only their second away win of the season and left Preston rooted to the bottom of the npower Championship with a 3-1 win at Deepdale.[LNB] Boro have struggled on their travels this season and that looking like continuing when Billy Jones headed the home side in front after 27 minutes.[LNB] However, Leroy Lita produced a superb run and finish to draw Boro level three minutes later before putting the visitors in front just before the hour mark.[LNB] David Wheater, who has been linked with a move away from Middlesbrough in the January transfer window, then capped a fine performance by heading a third soon after.[LNB] The victory moved Boro one point clear of the relegation zone. Meanwhile, Preston stay bottom of the table, five points behind Boro.[LNB] Preston made a bright start and fashioned the first meaningful chance with 10 minutes gone when Jon Parkin laid the ball into the path of Darel Russell, who fired over from 20 yards.[LNB] Moments later Lita was dispossessed and Preston broke at pace with Michael Tonge playing the ball a little wide to Adam Barton who flashed a shot just wide of the post.[LNB] The game opened up and the dangerous Marvin Emnes got away down the left before providing a fine ball into the box but Lita was unable to connect properly.[LNB] Lita thought he had put the visitors in front soon after but his goal was disallowed for a foul.[LNB] With 26 minutes gone Middlesbrough goalkeeper Jason Steele produced a fine save to keep out a 25-yard effort from Russell.[LNB] But from the resulting corner, Danny Pugh picked out Jones at the far post and he headed in from close range to put Preston in front.[LNB] Middlesbrough had lost every game this season in which they have gone behind, but three minutes later, Lita embarked on a fine run from the halfway line and burst towards the edge of the box before blasting a shot high into the net.[LNB] The visitors ended the half the stronger of the two sides and began the second half in the same vain with Gary ONeil crossing for Lita, who headed wide.[LNB] Emnes was denied by a good block from Ritchie De Laet before Boro deservedly went in front with 59 minutes gone.[LNB] Julio Arca sent a long ball over the Preston defence and Lita raced clear before finishing well past Andy Lonergan for his second of the game.[LNB] It got worse for Preston two minutes later when O'Neil swung in a free-kick from the right and Wheater climbed highest to head home.[LNB] Preston never looked like getting back into the game and Lita could have had a hat-trick with eight minutes remaining - but he fired wide when clean through.[LNB]

Source: Northern_Echo