Bamford double puts Leeds up to second in Championship | - South Africa News

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Patrick Bamford had not scored for Leeds for exactly a month before his double at Deepdale

Patrick Bamford’s second-half double against 10-man Preston helped Leeds United move back up to second in the Championship.

Bamford’s thunderous 25-yard shot put the visitors in front a few minutes after North End’s Ben Pearson had been sent off for bringing down the Leeds striker as he went through on goal.

Defender Luke Ayling hit the post as Leeds searched for a second, which eventually came when Bamford headed in a right-wing cross from Mateusz Klich with 14 minutes left to play.

Leeds are two points clear of Sheffield United in the race for automatic promotion, although the Blades will return to second spot if they win at Birmingham on Wednesday.

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa had backed Bamford after he had missed several good opportunities to score in Saturday’s loss to Blues – a result which had seen the Yorkshire side slip out of the Championship’s top two.

The former Middlesbrough man repaid Bielsa’s faith in him by netting his first goals in five appearances.

Bamford should have completed a hat-trick late on, but he dallied when bearing down on goal and was dispossessed inside the penalty area.

Leeds deserved their victory, having been the most likely side to score even before Pearson was dismissed for the third time this season.

Klich came closest to scoring during a goalless first half, but his low effort from 20 yards slid just past the far post.

Preston’s third consecutive defeat severely dented their play-off aspirations as, with five matches remaining, they are six points below sixth-placed Aston Villa.

That gap that will grow further on Wednesday if Villa, who have won their past six games, avoid defeat at lowly Rotherham.

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