WATCH: On fire Sean Maguire scores brilliant solo effort five minutes after coming on
SEAN MAGUIRE came off the bench to fire Preston North End to another win and to keep their play-off hopes alive.
The former Cork City man scored twice on Saturday in his comeback from four months on sidelines and he was the hero again for Alex Neil’s side by striking within seven minutes of his introduction in their 2-1 victory over Bristol City.
It moves Preston to eighth in the table – level with Bristol – and one point outside the playoff places.
Cork man Alan Browne – who will also expect to be in the Ireland squad that Martin O’Neill names tomorrow – opened the scoring.
Aston Villa’s Irish legion also enjoyed a good night away to relegation threatened Sunderland. Conor Hourihane, Glenn Whelan and Scott Hogan all started with a 3-0 success that leaves Sunderland rock bottom.
John O’Shea was withdrawn halfway through, while Aiden McGeady played a full part with Sunderland now four points from safety.
Villa are third, four points behind Cardiff who took full points from the visit of Barnsley. Neil Warnock’s side are three behind leaders Wolves who play away to Leeds tonight.
Fulham are fourth after a 3-0 dismissal of Sheffield United with in-form loanee Aleksandar Mitrovic bagging a brace.
Fifth placed Derby County drew 1-1 away to QPR, a result that leaves them under a bit of the pressure with the sides behind hitting form.
Middlesbrough are sixth with Irish qualified Patrick Bamford striking the only goal away to relegation troubled Birmingham.
Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich picked up a welcome three points from their trip to fellow mid-table outfit Sheffield Wednesday.