sport

Grayson stands by players

Simon Grayson has given his backing to the Preston players facing spot-fixing allegations following their 1-1 draw with Bristol City.

The manager named three of those arrested and bailed by police on Thursday - skipper John Welsh, Bailey Wright and David Buchanan - in his starting line-up at Ashton Gate, with a fourth, Keith Keane, on the bench.

And after watching his promotion-chasing side held to a draw by improving City, Grayson made no attempt to fudge the issue.

"I have spoken to each of the players involved and I am convinced in my own mind that their innocence will be proved," he said.

"If they have been lying to me it will come out in time, but I don't believe that is the case and everyone is entitled to be considered innocent unless proven guilty.

"I am 100 per cent behind them, as I showed with my selection. We controlled a lot of the game and one poor piece of decision-making has cost us.

"Neil Kilkenny will be wishing he had found row Z when he had the chance to clear in the build-up to Bristol's goal, but he is a footballer by nature and doesn't think that way."

City's experienced Wade Elliott, on loan from Birmingham, capped a man-of-the-match display when his low 75th-minute shot from the corner of the box took a deflection to beat Preston goalkeeper Declan Rudd.

Preston had gone in front six minutes earlier, also with a deflection, defender Jake King firing home from 12 yards after City had failed to clear a free-kick.

It was only King's second goal of the season - and both have come against the Robins.

Substitute Tyrone Barnett wasted a great chance to win it for City four minutes from time when firing over from 10 yards.