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Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 00:55 GMT
Preston 3-0 Gillingham
Preston secured their first win in seven league matches with a comfortable victory over in-form Gillingham at Deepdale.

Goals from Eddie Lewis and Graham Alexander put North End firmly in command at half-time, and 10 minutes after the restart they added a third through a Barry Ashby own goal.

Richard Cresswell, back in the starting line-up, was straight into the action, firing a shot over the crossbar after just 12 seconds.

And the Preston striker forced Gills keeper Jason Brown into action after 10 minutes after latching onto a Graham Alexander cross.

Gillingham's Guy Ipoua then spurned a golden opportunity to open the scoring, but he mis-hit his shot from six yards.

Ipoua, keen to atone for his error, forced a fine save from Preston goalkeeper Jonathan Gould with a fierce drive from the edge of the box after 20 minutes.

But Lewis broke the deadlock for Preston after Brian O'Neil's deep cross found the American unmarked at the far post.

North End began to dominate and extended their lead from the penalty spot after 37 minutes after Paul McKenna was fouled by Gills player-boss Andy Hessenthaler.

Alexander placed his kick into the top corner for his eighth of the season to put Preston in control.

Gillingham brought on Rod Wallace at the start of the second half in a bid to get back into the game and the diminutive forward almost scored within two minutes.

Nicky Southall's cross picked out Wallace but his powerful header was superbly tipped round the post by Gould.

Preston made sure of the points when Ashby diverted Cresswell's driven cross into his own net.


Preston: Gould, Alexander, Broomes, Jackson, Lucketti, Cartwright, O'Neil, McKenna, Lewis, Cresswell, Koumantarakis. Subs: Skora, Lynch, Rankine, Mears, Lucas.

Gillingham: Brown, Southall, Edge, Hope, Ashby, Hessenthaler, Smith, Saunders, Shaw, Sidibe, Ipoua. Subs: Bartram, Nosworthy, Leon Johnson, Wallace, Perpetuini.

Referee: E Ilderton (Tyne & Wear).


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