sport

Preston end victory drought

Preston won their first game in nine League One matches as they triumphed 1-0 at Hartlepool on New Year's Day.

Not since November 10 had the Lillywhites earned three points, but John Mousinho's goal eased the pressure on manager Graham Westley.

For Pools, who were victorious on Saturday at Sheffield United to end a 22-game winless run, this was their fifth successive home loss and they remain rooted to the foot of the table.

Antony Sweeney latched onto a Jonathan Franks' throughball after five minutes but fired too close to visiting goalkeeper Steve Simonsen.

Striker Steve Howard was then denied at the far post by a strong Mousinho block in a positive Pools start.

But after 43 minutes they conceded a penalty, captain Peter Hartley fouling Stuart Beavon in the area. Nicky Wroe hit his spot-kick high and firm but keeper Scott Flinders flew across goal to keep it out.

Two minutes later, however, the visitors scored. Jack King's corner was fired deep into the area and Mousinho stole in unmarked to head across Flinders.

Second-half openings for either side were few and far between and the workmanlike visitors saw the game out with a last-gasp scramble when Flinders was twice denied.