Blades lose: Preston North End 3 Sheffield United 1

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SHEFFIELD United’s hopes of avoiding relegation from the npower Championship were dealt a huge blow but Preston North End boosted their survival bid with a 3-1 home win, writes Digital Editor Graham Walker.

Keith Treacy’s spectacular second-half double did the damage against the Blades.

The Republic of Ireland winger, who had a spell on loan at Bramall Lane last season, opened the scoring in the 55th minute with a speculative long-range shot and then added a second from distance 13 minutes later.

United hit back through Jordan Slew with 18 minutes remaining but North End substitute Nathan Ellington added a late third as Phil Brown’s side moved four points ahead of the Blades.

The result condemned Micky Adams’ side to a fourth straight defeat but was a massive boost to Preston as they recorded their third successive home victory.

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