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2017/18 English League Championship, Regular Season
  • Callum Robinson (26')
  • Louis Moult (90'+3')
  • Billy Bodin (50')
  • Hope Akpan (63')

Burton relegated as Preston miss out on play-offs despite late winner

Burton were relegated from the Sky Bet Championship after a 2-1 defeat at Preston, who missed out on a play-off spot.
Louis Moult won it in added time for 10-man Preston, who finished seventh after Derby secured the final play-off place thanks to victory over Barnsley, with the Yorkshire club joining Burton in the bottom three.
Hope Akpan had equalised midway through the second half for Burton, which cancelled out Callum Robinson's opener.
At that stage the Brewers were staying up, but they were left needing a late winner after Bolton scored two quick-fire goals to beat Nottingham Forest. Instead Moult tucked home on the break at the other end.
It was an even opening to a game that Preston knew was must-win, but news soon filtered through that Derby had taken the lead against Barnsley.
That result would end Preston's play-off hopes but they set about keeping up their end of the bargain as Robinson was denied one-on-one by Stephen Bywater after 25 minutes.
But the forward responded a minute later by putting Preston ahead. Josh Harrop's corner was met by Paul Huntington, whose header back across goal found Robinson four yards out to nod in the opener.
It should have been two after 33 minutes as Robinson squared for Sean Maguire who fired off the underside of the crossbar from six yards.
Preston were dominant and thought they had doubled their advantage three minutes later when Billy Bodin turned a cross into the net, but the referee and linesman ruled he had done so with his hand - and showed the Wales international a yellow card.
It was to prove a nightmare day for Bodin as he was sent off five minutes after the break, picking up his second booking for simulation.
That lifted Burton spirits as Luke Murphy broke through midfield and unleashed a shot, but one that was comfortable for Declan Rudd in the Preston goal.
And Nigel Clough's side came even closer on the hour mark through Liam Boyce, whose near-post header drifted just wide.
Three minutes later though came the goal that looked like it could secure Burton's safety. The ball broke to Akpan who curled a stunning finish into the top corner from 20 yards.
Ten-man Preston rallied, coming close in the 74th minute when Paul Gallagher's shot was pushed wide by Bywater before Tom Clarke headed just wide from the resulting corner.
And they sealed the win which broke Burton hearts three minutes into added time. North End hit the Brewers - who had entered all-out attack mode - on the counter and Ben Pearson squared for Moult to tap the winner into an empty net.

English League Championship Standings

POS Team GP GD PTS
1 West Bromwich Albion 16 +12 33
2 Preston North End 16 +14 31
3 Leeds United 16 +12 31
4 Swansea City 16 +6 29
5 Nottingham Forest 15 +7 28
6 Bristol City 16 +4 28
7 Fulham 16 +7 26
8 Sheffield Wednesday 16 +7 25
9 Brentford 16 +8 24
10 Queens Park Rangers 16 -4 24
11 Charlton Athletic 16 +3 22
12 Hull City 16 +2 22
13 Birmingham City 16 -5 22
14 Cardiff City 16 0 21
15 Millwall 16 -3 21
16 Derby County 16 -3 21
17 Reading 15 -1 18
18 Blackburn Rovers 16 -4 18
19 Huddersfield Town 16 -6 16
20 Wigan Athletic 16 -11 15
21 Luton Town 16 -8 14
22 Middlesbrough 16 -8 13
23 Stoke City 16 -12 11
24 Barnsley 16 -17 9