BARNSLEY celebrated a deserved win with goals by Garry O’Connor and Danny Hayes as Preston suffered their first defeat under Phil Brown.
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Scotland international O’Connor’s fourth goal of the season came with more than a touch of fortune after his 23rd minute shot deflected wickedly off North End defender Leon Cort and beyond Andy Lonergan despairing dive.
Lonergan came to his side’s rescue on a number of occasions, but his botched clearance in injury time allowed Barnsley substitute Jacob Butterfield to break clear and leave Hayes with a tap in.
Brown set his stall out with an attacking 4-3-3 formation, but Preston rarely threatened Tykes goalkeeper Luke Steele’ as on-loan Chelsea youngster Jacob Mellis dictated proceedings impressively on his debut.
Steele’s best moment came two minutes from time when he dived full-length to palm away a swerving free-kick from Lilywhites substitute Keith Treacy.
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