PNE fans dare to dream

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Preston North End fans are dreaming of play-off glory tomorrow night.

North End face Rotherham at the New York Stadium in the second leg of their play-off clash and victory will seal a place in the final at Wembley against Leyton Orient on Sunday, May 25.

Preston North End fans celebrateJoe Garner's wonder goal against Rotherham on Saturday

Preston North End fans celebrateJoe Garner's wonder goal against Rotherham on Saturday

The sides drew 1-1 at Deepdale on Saturday thanks to Joe Garner’s stunning second-half equaliser.

But despite North End’s shaky play-off record - they have failed in the knockout stages eight times - Prestonians are buoyant with expectation after a sparkling season.

And PNE statistician and fan Martin Atherton believes the fans can play a crucial role in South Yorkshire.

He said: “The 1,200 or so fans that will be there can make a difference.”

Kathleen Smalley, from Preston, will be cheering North End on at home but is hoping for another trip to Wembley.

She said: “The last time I went to Wembley was Wycome in 1994 and I want to go again.

“So I’m hoping they can cap off a great season with two more victories.”

Even fans from rival North West teams such as Wigan, Bolton and Blackburn Rovers will be watching the tie and hoping the Lilywhites can make the jump to the Championship and set up a host of tasty local derbies next season.

Rovers fan Gez Swarbrick said: “I hope North End can get promoted, it will be good for football in the North West.

“It will mean bigger crowds next season as there is no excuse for not travelling to away matches when they are on your doorstep.

“They’ve had a good season and Simon Grayson has done a great job.”