Preston supporter John Smith says victory over derby rivals Blackburn shows the progress North End have made in recent years

Prior to yesterday's fixture we had won three and drawn one of our last four matches against Blackburn Rovers and before the game optimism was high among the large travelling army of almost 8,000 that this record could be continued in the high noon shoot-out at Ewood Park.

Sunday, 10th March 2019, 8:51 am
Updated Sunday, 10th March 2019, 10:48 am
Blackburn Rovers' Joe Nuttall looks to take on Preston North End's Ben Davies

Rovers who had lost five out of their last six matches were shot down by an early strike by Daniel Johnson which delighted the away fans gathered on the Darwen End who belted out the "50 grand song " right up unto the final whistle.

In fairness to our opponents I thought that they had the large share of possession but we dug in deep and defended well and limited their clear cut chances in a performance reminiscent of one of the Simon Grayson era.

The central defensive partnership of Jordan Storey and Ben Davies once again shone brightly and both put in assured performances which belied their youthful years.

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At the end of the game, it was the vast contingent of away supporters who were the happiest having seen a fifth consecutive away win on the bounce, a result which keeps our season alive as it approaches its business end.

To be in this position is a great credit to the way in which we have bounced back from where we were in in October when we looked like we were going to be in a relegation battle.

Rovers manager Tony Mowbray pre-match acknowledged the position that our club is in having become an established Championship club over the last four years.

He said that it is a yardstick for his club to aim at which is a compliment to the hard word and progress which we have made over the last few years.

In their glory days of the 90s, Rovers fans saw Manchester United as their derby rivals but after renewing the old traditional rivalry after a 20-year absence this fixture is surely much better for both parties.

For the moment it will be the white side of the fence who will retain the bragging rights in the locality.