• Dale Winfield

Rooney frustrated by last-gasp Preston winner

Alan Browne scored deep into stoppage time as Preston North End beat ten-man Derby County at Pride Park on Boxing Day.

The visitors gained the man advantage after 20 minutes following a late challenge by Martyn Waghorn on Browne.

Despite the sending off, the Rams got to half-time with the game goalless.

David Marshall had a more difficult second-half, first called into action in the 51st minute to deny Tom Barkhuizen with a fantastic save at his near post.

He was tested again six minutes later, this time preventing Sean Maguire from a shot inside the box.

Matt Clarke slides in against Preston. Photo: Derby County FC.

A hard-working Derby remained in the contest and had chances of their own to secure a win, most notably a Matt Clarke header that was saved by Declan Rudd.

It seemed the points would be shared before Browne’s brilliant curled shot from just inside the box won it for the Lilywhites.

Derby remain in the relegation zone following the defeat, but interim manager Wayne Rooney was pleased with his players and believes it was his team’s best performance of the season.

The ex-England captain was however frustrated, believing his side should have been awarded a free-kick prior to the goal.

“I think it’s clear foul on Louie Sibley in the middle of the pitch just before the goal,” he said.

“I don’t want to slate referees because I know how difficult it is for them, but they’re big moments. If he gives the free kick, we go into the corner, the game’s over and we take a very well-earned point,” added Rooney.

The Rams will have another opportunity to climb out of the bottom three when they travel to Birmingham City on Tuesday, kick-off 5.30pm.