Garner scores four as PNE thrash Crewe

pne vs creweBy Connor Billington


Four goals from Joe Garner gave a crucial three points to promotion chasing Preston.

Garner got two in the first-half before Turton grabbed one back for Crewe to set the second-half up nicely.

Preston came off better in the end, the No.14 getting another two and Beckford grabbing the fifth.

The first real chance of the game came when Paul Gallagher found himself one-on-one but he was unable to direct his effort past Rachubka.

Preston’s early pressure didn’t end there as Daniel Johnson fired an effort against the right-hand post after taking the ball down on his chest 12 yards out.

The home side finally made a deserved breakthrough when Garner found himself space just outside the area and was able to place the ball past Rachubka and in to the net. The goal had been coming for the home side and Grayson will be pleased they made the pressure count.

Four minutes later Preston doubled their lead, it was Garner again, this time Gallagher delivered an in-swinging cross from the right hand side and Garner didn’t need a second invitation, heading home his 18th of the season.

On the half-hour mark Robinson forced Rachubka in to a good save low down to his right and from the resulting corner, Beckford hit a shot on the turn in a crowded penalty-area but Crewe managed to scramble to ball off the line and away.

Against the run of play, Oliver Turton managed to get himself in behind the Preston defence and slotted home past Johnstone, clipping the post on the way in, game on.

In the 10 minutes before half-time, Crewe put pressure on the home side and were unlucky not to force an equaliser.

The early stages of the second half brought several good chances for both sides, Johnson and Gallagher having sights of goal before Davis clear off the line at the last second after Beckford had put a delightful chip over the keeper, so unlucky for the striker.

Marcus Haber then had the ball in the net at the other end but the Ref quickly ruled it out for a foul on a Preston defender.

Beckford was causing the visitors defence all sorts of trouble and he missed a glorious chance from yards out after Robinson delivered, two minutes later he did have the ball in the net but the Ref again ruled it out for a foul.

72 minutes in and the home side got the goal they needed, Garner grabbed his hat-trick with a truly wonderful goal, he took a couple of touches, steadied himself and curled the ball in to the right-hand corner to regain his side’s two goal lead.

Seven minutes later Garner tapped in his fourth of the game, Beckford broke in to the box from the left, curled a shot round Rachubka, only for it to hit the post and come back out, but Garner was in the right place to finish off the rebound.

No more than two minutes later Beckford got the goal he deserved, finding himself all alone in the area, he took his time and beat the keeper to make it 5-1.

MOM – Joe Garner

PNE – Johnstone, Laird, Clarke (c), Wright, Huntington, Welsh (Kilkenny 76), Johnson, Gallagher, Robinson (Humphrey 69), Beckford (Ebanks-Blake 83), Garner.

Crewe Alexandra –  Rachubka, Guthrie, Davis (c), Ray, Turton, Jones, Haber, Ness, Tate (Cooper 65), Ajose (Ikpeazu 65), Grant.


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