London, Nov 3, 2019 (AFP) - Preston North End moved to the top of the Championship table as substitute Paul Gallagher's penalty secured a 1-0 win at Charlton on Sunday.
On the eve of the match, Preston had refused bottom-of-the-table Stoke permission to talk to their manager Alex Neil with the Scot reiterating his commitment to the club.
And Neil will continue to target a promotion push rather than a battle to survive as his side moved ahead of Leeds and Swansea at the top of the table on goal difference.
The only goal of a bad-tempered encounter came just before the hour mark when Jason Pearce barged into Jayden Stockley as they challenged for a cross from the left.
Gallagher hammered home the resulting penalty and nearly set up a second moments later when his corner was met by Tom Barkhuizen, who could not turn the ball home.
One goal was enough, though, as Charlton missed their chance to level deep into stoppage time Ben Purrington was unable to force the ball home after Preston goalkeeper Declan Rudd flapped at a corner.