By Karan Gadhia – Deputy Sports Editor
Preston North End came from behind to win 2-1 against 10-man Blackburn Rovers, securing their first victory at Ewood Park since 1979.
Elliott Ward put the hosts ahead in the 13th minute after latching onto a rebound that came off the bar, following a corner.
However, the game was turned on its head in the 25th minute when Shane Duffy was sent off for a handball on the line – Joe Garner scored the penalty to equalise for the visitors.
The Lilywhites took the lead for the first time in the match just before the break, Jordan Hugill volleying Paul Gallagher’s chipped ball beyond Blackburn goalkeeper Jason Steele.
Simon Grayson made two changes to the side that drew with Queens Park Rangers, Joe Garner and Alan Browne coming in for Callum Robinson and Daniel Johnson.
Rovers had a corner in the 13th minute which Hope Akpan headed onto the bar but Ward was there to power in the rebound and open the scoring.
The turning point of the afternoon happened in the 25th minute when Duffy dived in front of the ball and handled it on the line to stop Garner’s shot going in.
Duffy was sent off and Preston were awarded a penalty which Garner stepped up to take, placing the ball in the bottom corner just past Jason Steele who dived the right way.
The visitors took the lead just before the break, Hugill volleying Gallagher’s chipped ball into the back of the net.
PNE went agonisingly close to extending their lead in the 54th minute when Adam Reach laid the ball off to Ben Pearson who shot just inches wide of the post.
Greg Cunningham saw an ambitious shot from long range easily saved by Steele.
Reach also attempted a spectacular effort, volleying Browne’s ball from a tight angle into the hands of Steele.
Rovers were determined not to go down without a fight and had a penalty appeal waved away when Chris Brown went down in the box.
Daniel Johnson, who came on as a substitute, nearly scored after a neat one-two but his shot was blocked by Ward.
After the match, Grayson was delighted his side picked up another derby win away from home and was happy to see the travelling 7,000 supporters go home in high spirits.
The sending off was a key moment in the match and the right decision he added.
Blackburn Rovers: Steele, Marshall, Ward, Duffy, Spurr, Bennett, Lenihan, Akpan (Brown, 71), Gomez, Graham and Watt (Jackson, 6 Kilgallon, 27). Subs not used: Raya, Henley, Brown, Grimes and Conway
PNE: Lindegaard, Cunningham, Pearson (Johnson, 63), Clarke, Wright, Gallagher, Garner (85, Beckford), Woods, Browne, Hugill and Reach (Huntington, 80). Subs not used: Kirkland, Vermijl, Doyle and Robinson
Referee: Eddie Ilderton (Tyne & Wear)
Attendance: 21,029 (6,984 PNE fans)