Bolton Wanderers 1 Preston North End 2 - More away joy for the Lilywhites in derby clash

Preston North End won a third successive away game - the first time they had done so since 2015 - as they beat Bolton Wanderers at the University of Bolton Stadium.

Goals from Alan Browne and Tom Barkhuizen delivered the victory, one which on the balance of play should have been comfortable than it eventually was.

Alan Browne celebrates giving Preston the lead at Bolton

Alan Browne celebrates giving Preston the lead at Bolton

Browne fired North End into a 40th minute lead with his 11th goal of the campaign, a lead Barkhuizen extended seven minutes from time when he raced clear on to a Sean Maguire through ball to score.

Wanderers halved the deficit in the 90th through substitute Clayton Donaldson, ensuring a nervous finish in which Declan Rudd made a fine save from John Magennis.

But PNE deserved their win having controlled long spells of the first hour, it only being in the final stages that the home side got on the front foot in search of a way back into the game.

Brad Potts had hit the post at 1-0 and there had been other scoring attempts too.

Alan Browne heads for goal against Bolton

Alan Browne heads for goal against Bolton

Not since February/March 2015 had North End won three away games in the league on the spin, this stretching their unbeaten run to five games to the delight of 4,565 of their supporters who made the short journey down the M61 to Horwich.

Alex Neil had made one change to the PNE starting XI, Barkhuizen returning to the side in place of Jayden Stockley who dropped to the bench.

Barkhuizen's inclusion meant Maguire was switched up front to lead the attack after the Irishman had played in a wide role for the previous four games.

North End started in a 4-1-4-1 system, Ben Pearson in the sitting role behind Potts and Browne in the centre of midfield with Barkhuizen on the right and Paul Gallagher on the left.

They bossed long spells of the first half although it was Bolton who had a couple of early chances, Magennis sending a header straight at Rudd while the striker curled a shot from the edge of the box just over the bar.

Browne volleyed wide from the edge of the 'D', before Barkhuizen wasted a glorious opportunity in the 24th minute.

Maguire's clever flick played the winger clear in the box but with just the keeper to beat, he dragged his shot across goal and wide of the far post.

As North End upped the ante, they appealed for a penalty for a handball when Browne's header from a Gallagher free-kick was blocked at the far post by a Bolton player - all they got was a corner.

Bolton centre-half Marc Wilson hacked the ball clear out of the six-yard box after Browne's shot had caught a deflection to take it past the keeper

PNE took the lead five minutes before half-time, Gallagher's pass from the centre of the pitch finding Barkhuizen down the inside right channel.

He played it inside to Browne who returned a pass into the path of the winger.

Barkhuizen left a defender on his backside as he ran into the box and cut it back into the path of Browne who drilled a low right-foot shot through a defender's legs and and into the far bottom corner.

Maguire almost stretched that lead three minutes later, a great piece of footwork taking him past a defender and through on goal, his shot clipping the keeper and going into the side-netting.

North End forced a succession of corners in the opening stages of the second half and Browne was close to a second goal with a low drive which flashed just wide of the post in the 55th minute.

Bolton switched to a 4-4-2 just after the hour mark, putting on Donaldson alongside Magennis.

The width of the woodwork got in the way of Preston netting a second goal in the 68th minute as they broke forward on the counter-attack.

Pearson led the break, the ball played through to Potts who took it into the box and saw his shot pushed against the post by keeper Remi Matthews.

A patch of Bolton pressure followed, although nothing to particularly work Rudd.

Nevertheless it came as a relief when North End finally got a second goal in the 83rd minute, Maguire's pass playing Barkhuizen clear.

He showed a clean pair of heels to the Bolton defence to run into the box and fire a low low past the keeper.

That goal was needed with the home side finding the net in the 90th minute, Donaldson getting on the end of a knockdown to finish from close range next to the post.

And two minutes into stoppage-time, it needed a fine save from Rudd to tip over Magennis' header.

It shouldn't have been such a nervous finish but Preston saw it out for a third successive win on Bolton soil.

Bolton: Matthews, Lowe, Wheater, Wilson, Grounds (Donaldson 62), Connolly, O'Neil, Noone (Pritchard 76), Connell (Vela 23), Ameobi, Magennis. Subs (not used): Buckley, Olkowski, Dyer, Alnwick.

PNE: Rudd, Fisher, Storey, Davies, Hughes, Pearson (Ledson 87), Gallagher (Nmecha 76), Potts, Browne (Johnson 89), Barkhuizen, Maguire. Subs (not used): Earl, Clarke, Stockley, Crowe.

Referee: Andy Madley (West Yorkshire)

Attendance: 17,381 (4,565 PNE)