Crewe Alexandra secured their first win in eight league attempts to move out of the relegation zone with a 2-0 triumph at high-flying Preston North End.
Byron Moore gave the visitors the lead with his first goal of the campaign – a low shot past Declan Rudd just ahead of the half-hour. Brad Inman then superbly added another from the edge of the area midway through the second period. Adam Dugdale also struck the crossbar.
The Railwaymen’s success moves them up to seventeenth in the table and was a third straight defeat for Preston – and their first in the league at home under Simon Grayson’s leadership.
Manager Steve Davis earlier made a couple of changes with Chuks Aneke and Inman both returning to the starting eleven. However, he soon witnessed goalkeeper Steve Phillips turning aside from Scott Laird. From the resultant corner, Iain Hume swept against the crossbar.
Preston were enjoying more possession and Stuart Beavon was next to be denied by Phillips, until the visitors took the lead against the run of play on 27 minutes as Inman played in Moore to finish into the bottom corner.
A couple of timely blocks prevented a possible equaliser, while former England striker Kevin Davies couldn’t seriously trouble Phillips with a header. Ollie Turton replying from distance for the visitors.
Crewe continued to protect their advantage following the break but an equaliser should probably have arrived when Davies headed Beavon’s cross wide close to the hour.
The hosts were made to pay for that five minutes later as Aneke set-up Inman for an excellent finish into the top corner. And it could soon have been 3-0 with Dugdale only being denied by the woodwork.
Matt Tootle later blocked well from Hume while Bradley Wright went close from distance, but the visitors maintained a welcome clean-sheet for only their second league win of the season.
Preston North End: Rudd, Humphrey (Holmes 65), Laird, Wright, Huntington, Clarke, Keane (Welsh 74), Byrom (Brownhill 73), Davies, Beavon, Hume
subs (unused): Stuckmann, Wroe, Buchanan, Mousinho
Crewe Alexandra: Phillips, Mellor, Dugdale, Ellis, Tootle, Osman, Grant (Nolan 84), Turton, Inman, Aneke (Oliver 90), Moore
subs (unused): Clayton, Leitch-Smith, Guthrie, Molyneux, Garratt
Goals: Moore (27), Inman (64)
Ref: T. Kettle
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