Preston North End brought their 2021/22 campaign to an end with a 4-1 victory at home to Middlesbrough.
The Lilywhites had a two-goal lead at half-time courtesy of Alan Browne’s opener and a Dael Fry own goal, after good work from Emil Riis.
Marcus Tavernier pulled one back for the visitors – who were in with a chance of securing a Play-Off spot – early in the second half, before Riis scored twice to confirm victory, while Boro went down to ten men just before the fourth goal when Paddy McNair saw red.
PNE were enjoying the early chances of the game, with Riis having the first meaningful attempt of the afternoon, but his deflected effort was tipped over the bar by Luke Daniels.
Browne came close on 20 minutes, seeing a left-footed shot go just wide, but he did get on the scoresheet soon after, as he controlled Potts’ cross and volleyed home into the far corner.
North End thought they’d made it two on 34 minutes when Daniel Johnson’s corner went straight into the back of the net, however the referee awarded a foul on goalkeeper Daniels.
Just a minute later, though, PNE did extend their advantage, as Riis did well to beat two men before sending the ball into the area, and a deflection from Fry sent it over the top of the diving ‘keeper.
The Lilywhites could have had a third before half-time, with both Ali McCann and Daniel Johnson coming close, but it was the visitors with the next goal of the game, as Tavernier met Dijksteel’s cross at the far post to head home.
North End soon restored their two-goal advantage, though, as five minutes later Archer found strike partner Riis and the Dane chipped the ball delightfully over Daniels for his first of the afternoon.
His fellow countryman Daniel Iversen was called into the action at the other end, getting his fingertips to Duncan Watmore’s flicked header, before then having to keep out a powerful strike from substitute Folarin Balogun.
Daniels then had to produce a top save of his own on 72 minutes, scurrying to his right-hand post to deny Ben Whiteman’s free-kick.
The goalkeeper was left helpless though when Riis tucked away a penalty a few minutes later, after Archer had seen his shot blocked on the line by the hand of McNair, who resultantly saw red.
There was then a lovely moment on 80 minutes, as Deepdale rose to its feet when Paul Huntington came on to make his 306th and final appearance for the football club.
Liam Lindsay and Ali McCann came close to scoring before the end, while Huntington headed just over himself, as he captained the team to a 4-1 victory.
PNE line-up: Iversen; van den Berg, Diaby (Huntington, 80), Lindsay; Potts, Whiteman (Ledson, 86), Browne, McCann, Johnson; Archer, Riis (O’Neill, 82). Subs not used: Ripley, Cunningham, Evans, Maguire.
Middlesbrough line-up: Daniels; Dijksteel (Connolly, 66), McNair, Fry; Jones, Howson, Crooks, McGree, Tavernier; Sporar (Balogun, 62), Watmore (Coburn, 62). Subs not sued: Lumley, Peltier, Bamba, Bola.
Attendance: 17, 691 (5,688 away fans).
Referee: Mr T Robinson.