Joe Garner headed the only goal of the game as Preston beat Crawley to all but secure a play-off place in League One.

Garner's 18th of the season came early on as he met Keith Keane's centre from the right-hand side to nod the ball past Paul Jones.

Garner had chances to increase the lead but headed over when well placed and had a volley well saved.

Mike Jones had Crawley's best effort but he shot straight at goalkeeper Declan Rudd.

Preston now need just one point to guarantee a play-off place, while Crawley, who have lost their last three are six points clear of the relegation zone.

Preston assistant manager Glynn Snodin told BBC Radio Lancashire:

"At this stage of the season, the performance doesn't matter as long as you get the three points.

"We wanted to keep a lot more of the ball because they are dangerous and have got some good players in their side.

"We said to the players on Monday that if we can get six points, we're back in it again. Other results have been nice for us."

Crawley Town boss John Gregory told BBC Surrey:

"They seemed very content settling in with a 1-0 but that's three games for us without scoring and we had good chances to have got goals today.

"The effort and hard work was there and everybody kept playing till the 93rd minute, so I can't really grumble about the effort in the game.

"We have always had that problem [not scoring]. Certainly before I came here it was a huge problem and certainly in the last three games we haven't taken our chances. Any football fan can see we are not as good as we could be."

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (4)

Preston North End

  • 23 Rudd
  • 02 Keane Booked
  • 16 Buchanan
  • 19 Welsh
  • 22 King
  • 05 Clarke
  • 11 Holmes
  • 37 Kilkenny (Browne - 66' )
  • 10 Beavon (Davies - 86' )
  • 14 Garner
  • 12 Gallagher (Humphrey - 74' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Stuckmann
  • 03 Laird
  • 06 Wright
  • 07 Humphrey
  • 09 Davies
  • 17 Davies
  • 31 Browne

Crawley Town

  • 01 Jones
  • 07 Clarke
  • 03 Sadler
  • 08 Torres
  • 04 Connolly
  • 12 Walsh Booked
  • 11 Simpson
  • 10 Drury
  • 21 Jones
  • 14 Proctor
  • 15 Bulman (Monakana - 77' )

Substitutes

  • 09 Fallon
  • 16 Kaikai
  • 17 Boateng
  • 19 Monakana
  • 25 Maddison
  • 26 Edwards
  • 28 Dicker
Ref: David Webb
Att: 8,979

Match Stats

Shots

13 8

On target

5 1

Corners

4 5

Fouls

17 5

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Preston North End 1, Crawley Town 0.

90:00 +3:20 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Preston North End 1, Crawley Town 0.

90:00 +1:52

Attempt missed. Jamie Proctor (Crawley Town) header from the centre of the box is too high following a corner.

90:00 +1:25

Corner, Crawley Town. Conceded by David Buchanan.

87:31

Attempt saved. Craig Davies (Preston North End) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

86:54

Hand ball by Lee Holmes (Preston North End).

85:23 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Preston North End. Craig Davies replaces Stuart Beavon.

81:05

Foul by David Buchanan (Preston North End).

81:05

Jeffrey Monakana (Crawley Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

80:15

David Buchanan (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

80:15

Foul by Josh Simpson (Crawley Town).

79:56

Attempt saved. Lee Holmes (Preston North End) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner.

79:32 Booking

Booking Joe Walsh (Crawley Town) is shown the yellow card.

79:26

John Welsh (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

79:26

Foul by Joe Walsh (Crawley Town).

77:48

Foul by Stuart Beavon (Preston North End).

77:48

Mark Connolly (Crawley Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

76:27 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Crawley Town. Jeffrey Monakana replaces Dannie Bulman.

76:02

Attempt blocked. Billy Clarke (Crawley Town) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

75:48

Foul by Jack King (Preston North End).

75:48

Andy Drury (Crawley Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

73:57 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Preston North End. Chris Humphrey replaces Paul Gallagher.

73:46

Foul by Alan Browne (Preston North End).

73:46

Sergio Torres (Crawley Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

71:00

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Josh Simpson.

70:05

Attempt missed. Paul Gallagher (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left from a direct free kick.

69:16

Joe Garner (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

69:16

Foul by Mark Connolly (Crawley Town).

68:00

Mark Connolly (Crawley Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

67:57

Foul by Stuart Beavon (Preston North End).

67:09

Foul by John Welsh (Preston North End).

67:09

Sergio Torres (Crawley Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

66:38

Attempt missed. Sergio Torres (Crawley Town) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.

65:52 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Preston North End. Alan Browne replaces Neil Kilkenny.

64:43

Corner, Crawley Town. Conceded by John Welsh.

64:14

Attempt saved. Joe Garner (Preston North End) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

59:31 Booking

Booking Keith Keane (Preston North End) is shown the yellow card.

59:23

Foul by Keith Keane (Preston North End).

59:23

Michael Jones (Crawley Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

58:55

Attempt blocked. Stuart Beavon (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

58:02

Attempt missed. Stuart Beavon (Preston North End) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

56:26

Foul by Neil Kilkenny (Preston North End).

56:26

Andy Drury (Crawley Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

49:05

Foul by Joe Garner (Preston North End).

49:05

Sergio Torres (Crawley Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

46:47

Attempt saved. Joe Garner (Preston North End) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

46:00

Tom Clarke (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

45:59

Foul by Jamie Proctor (Crawley Town).

45:30

Foul by Stuart Beavon (Preston North End).

45:30

Mark Connolly (Crawley Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

45:00

Second Half begins Preston North End 1, Crawley Town 0.

45:00 +2:12 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Preston North End 1, Crawley Town 0.

45:00 +1:48

Attempt blocked. Stuart Beavon (Preston North End) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

45:00 +0:01

Foul by Joe Garner (Preston North End).

45:00 +0:01

Joe Walsh (Crawley Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

44:31

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

44:30

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

43:14

Delay in match Tom Clarke (Preston North End) because of an injury.

41:40

Attempt missed. Joe Garner (Preston North End) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

40:44

Attempt missed. Josh Simpson (Crawley Town) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

40:14

Corner, Crawley Town. Conceded by Jack King.

33:29

Foul by Joe Garner (Preston North End).

33:29

Dannie Bulman (Crawley Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

32:26

Foul by Jack King (Preston North End).

32:26

Jamie Proctor (Crawley Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

31:46

Attempt missed. Billy Clarke (Crawley Town) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

30:19

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

30:18

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

29:32

Delay in match Stuart Beavon (Preston North End) because of an injury.

28:28

Attempt saved. Michael Jones (Crawley Town) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

27:32

Foul by Paul Gallagher (Preston North End).

27:32

Josh Simpson (Crawley Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

25:34

Foul by Stuart Beavon (Preston North End).

25:34

Matthew Sadler (Crawley Town) wins a free kick on the right wing.

24:17

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Matthew Sadler.

24:07

Attempt blocked. Joe Garner (Preston North End) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

21:31

Delay in match Mark Connolly (Crawley Town) because of an injury.

18:04

David Buchanan (Preston North End) wins a free kick on the right wing.

18:04

Foul by Michael Jones (Crawley Town).

17:25

Attempt missed. Neil Kilkenny (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

12:55 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Preston North End 1, Crawley Town 0. Joe Garner (Preston North End) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Keith Keane.

12:09

Attempt missed. Sergio Torres (Crawley Town) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

11:27

Corner, Crawley Town. Conceded by Lee Holmes.

11:10

Foul by Keith Keane (Preston North End).

11:10

Billy Clarke (Crawley Town) wins a free kick on the left wing.

4:55

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Matthew Sadler.

4:38

Attempt blocked. Paul Gallagher (Preston North End) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

4:02

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Matthew Sadler.

3:44

Attempt blocked. Mark Connolly (Crawley Town) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

3:04

Corner, Crawley Town. Conceded by Declan Rudd.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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