West Brom beat Preston to confirm play-off place

Alex Mowatt celebrates scoring for West Brom
Alex Mowatt eased West Brom's nerves with the opening goal from the penalty spot [Rex Features]

Goals by Alex Mowatt, Kyle Bartley and Darnell Furlong ended West Bromwich Albion's losing streak as they overcame Preston to rubber-stamp their play-off place.

Mowatt netted a penalty in first-half injury time to put the Baggies ahead after Furlong was brought down by Preston’s Liam Lindsay.

Albion centre-back Bartley then headed in Furlong’s long throw after the break to double his side’s advantage.

Furlong added his name to the scoresheet, tapping in Conor Townsend’s cross to score West Brom’s third and confirm a fifth-place finish.

Albion, who went into the game on the back of three straight defeats, were on top from the first whistle as they piled pressure on the Preston goal.

Grady Diangana forced Freddie Woodman into an early stop, while Brandon Thomas-Asante might have done better with a close-range attempt, pouncing on a free-kick to fire narrowly wide.

Kyle Bartley (West Brom) celebrates scoring for West Brom
Kyle Bartley doubled West Brom's lead in the second half [Getty Images]

Woodman was called into action again with a double save late in the first half, pushing away Mikey Johnston’s low drive before denying Conor Townsend on the follow-up.

But the Baggies finally broke through on the stroke of half-time as Furlong turned Lindsay inside the box and was brought down, enabling Mowatt to step up and slot away the spot-kick.

It was the midfielder’s first goal since scoring in West Brom’s 4-0 success at Deepdale seven months ago – and the home side set about doing their best to repeat that scoreline after the break.

Bartley and Cedric Kipre both went close from Mowatt corners, while the lively Johnston set up another opportunity that Thomas-Asante steered over the bar.

But Albion gained some breathing space when Furlong hurled a throw-in towards the penalty spot and Bartley’s header looped over Woodman and into the Preston net.

Townsend then stormed into the box and cut the ball back for Furlong to make it 3-0 seven minutes later and secure the Baggies’ first appearance in the play-offs since 2019, where they'll face Southampton.