How the Irish fared: Aiden McGeady has the x-factor, says Preston boss

Aiden McGeady maintained his recent fine form as Preston continued their play-off push with a 2-1 win over QPR in Saturday’s Championship clash at Deepdale.

How the Irish fared: Aiden McGeady has the x-factor, says Preston boss

North End were trailing 1-0 when a moment of individual brilliance from the in-form McGeady brought them level just before the interval.

The winger cut inside from the left and curled a superb right-footed shot into the corner for his third goal in four games.

Preston built on that effort and claimed a win that leaves them six points off the final play-off spot and manager Simon Grayson was quick to hail McGeady’s contribution.

He said: “When we signed Aiden we mentioned he was one of those types of players that we were missing; our players had been very good and hard-working, but we wanted someone with that x-factor and players like that are few and far between.

“He has shown his great quality again today, as he did two weeks ago against Brentford with his two goals, and we are delighted to have him.

“On another day he could have had a few more goals, given the opportunities he had.”

McGeady’s Preston team-mate Paul Huntington was equally impressed.

“It’s standard McGeady really and he’s done that quite a few times and you’re thinking it’s just normal for him,” Huntington said.

Elsewhere, Ciaran Clark rescued a point for promotion-hopefuls Newcastle as the Magpies came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Bristol City.

Clark’s header salvaged a draw but wasn’t enough to keep Newcastle top after Chris Hughton’s Brighton hammered Reading 3-0 to usurp the Magpies.

The top two meet tomorrow night but Hughton doesn’t believe that Saturday’s win gives Brighton the psychological edge over Newcastle.

“Our levels will have to be high to beat them. If we can produce this kind of performance, it’ll give us a chance.”

Saturday brought joy and despair for Anthony Forde.

He must have thought his 25-yard strike in the 87th minute had earned Rotherham a rare point but Brentford scored twice in stoppage time to seal a 4-2 win.

There was also disappointment for Richard Keogh as he was forced off injured in Derby’s 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa. On the plus side, Rams boss Steve McClaren suggested the problem — a tweak to the calf — is not a serious one.

In League One, it was a bad day for the Irish contingent at Rochdale as Joe Rafferty and Donal McDermott were both sent off in Rochdale’s 3-1 defeat at Peterborough.

In the Scottish Premiership, Adam Rooney’s 17th goal of the season gave Aberdeen a 1-0 win over Ross County, a result that lifted the Dons nine points clear of Rangers in the race for second.

Rooney said: “I said in my interview in the matchday programme today that I am happy to score a goal even if it comes off my shin a couple of yards out. I think that one hit both shins! I think the players need to aim for my shins from now on!”

Conor Sammon was also on the goal trail, netting in Kilmarnock’s 2-0 win at St Johnstone.

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