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Home / Football / Hattrick hero Beckford sends Preston to The Championship

Hattrick hero Beckford sends Preston to The Championship

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A Jermaine Beckford hattrick gave Preston North End their first Wembley win in ten attempts.

Preston progressed to the final at Wembley following a comfortable 4-0 aggregate win over Chesterfield, whilst Swindon Town scraped through 7-6 on aggregate after an enthralling 5-5 draw in the second leg against Sheffield United.

Jermain Beckford started up front alongside League One’s top scorer Joe Garner, and were facing a Swindon side that shipped five goals in their last game.

The game was only three minutes old when Jermaine Beckford latched on to Paul Gallagher’s free kick, taking his tally to four goals in the playoffs following three against Chesterfield over two legs.

Defender Paul Huntingdon doubled the advantage just ten minutes later as he latched on to another Gallagher assist, sinking Swindon further into trouble.

Swindon had a good opportunity to reduce the deficit when Nathan Byrne crossed but Michael Smith’s header from five yards was off target.

Jermain Beckford then netted his second just before half time as he curled home from the edge of the area, to give Preston a three goals advantage going into the break.

Five minutes after the restart, Beckford had the opportunity to complete his hattrick but Robins keeper Wes Foderingham saved from a one on one situation.

But five minutes later, Beckford became only the third ever player to score a play-off hat-trick when he latched on to a through pass before slotting home past the keeper from a similar position to his previous chance.

Swindon dominated possession over the course of the game and created more opportunities, but Preston were more clinical in front of goal.

Preston return to the Championship after a four year absence, whilst Swindon haven’t featured in England’s second tier since 2000.

Jemaine Beckford League One Play-off Final Preston North End Swindon Town Wembley Stadium

About Dale Ventham

Dale Ventham is an editor at The Sports Lowdown. He also covers the lower leagues in English football.

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