Beckford Strike Earns PNE WinSimon Grayson's Preston North End continued their impressive push for promotion with a 1-0 victory over Peterborough United at the ABAX Stadium.
Erhun Oztumer, fresh from his first goal in Peterborough United colours, tested Thorsten Stuckmann with a dipping free-kick in the early exchanges as Posh made a bright start to the contest.
The visitors were close to taking the lead on 10 minutes as Davies fed Gallagher, but his right-footed effort crashed against the underside of the bar before being hacked away from danger.
Beautyman scooped over following a deflected Bostwick cross on 21 minutes. Oztumer fired just past the post after an excellent Posh move involving Ntlhe, Mclean and Anderson as Posh pressed for the breakthrough.
Alnwick pushed a cross-shot from Laird around the post and from the resulting corner, Huntington got free, but couldn't keep his header down. In one minute of added time, Preston nudged themselves ahead as Jermaine BECKFORD wriggled clear and dinked the ball over the advancing Alnwick.
Mclean was denied by the body of Stuckmann on 51 minutes after a header back from Wiseman was seized upon by the Posh loanee. Beckford was lucky to escape with no further action after a late challenge on Bostwick, but after being cautioned earlier in the proceedings, he got away with it as referee Mr Sheldrake just gave a free-kick.
Clarke headed a corner kick wide of the target before a curler from Mendez-Laing was well held by the Preston keeper.
On 74 minutes, Mackail-Smith and Mclean combined like yesteryear, the former delivering a fine pass for the Bradford City loanee, but he fired wide of the near post as everyone waited for the net to bulge.
Bostwick fired over after neat interplay in a tight area by Darren Ferguson's men. Alnwick produced a fine save with his legs to deny Beckford on the counter-attack as Posh appealed in vain for a free-kick for a foul on Oztumer.
Luke James replaced Zakuani late on in a flurry of late changes by both sides.
Final Score: Posh 0-1 Preston North End
Posh: Alnwick, Zakuani (sub James 86min), Burgess, Ntlhe, Bostwick, Payne, Anderson (sub Mendez-Laing 70min), Oztumer, Beautyman, Mackail-Smith, Mclean. Unused subs: Day, Smith, Vassell, Washington, Santos.
Preston: Stuckmann, Laird, Wiseman, Clarke, Humphrey (sub Little 86min), Kilkenny, Davies, Beckford (sub King 87min), Gallagher (sub Browne 60min), Welsh, Huntington. Unused subs: Jones, Woods, Reid, Brownhill.
Attendance: 6,803 (475 Preston fans).