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Beckford makes it a perfect 10 for Preston

League One Play-Off Final: Preston NE 4 Swindon Town 0

Jermaine Beckford hit a Wembley hat-trick as Preston ended their play-off jinx at the 10th attempt.

The striker, fittingly wearing the number 10 shirt, wrote his name in North End folklore as they swept aside Swindon 4-0 to clinch promotion to the Championship.

Having failed in their previous nine play-off campaigns - the worst record of any club - there were fears Preston would choke on the big day once again, but Swindon simply rolled over after Beckford opened the scoring with just two minutes on the clock.

Beckford has reached 20 goals this season despite missing a chunk of the campaign suffering from a type of vertigo, but the on-loan Bolton forward is now poised to climb the football ladder once again.

Whether that is with Preston remains to be seen as, Beckford is now a free agent and plenty of other clubs will be sniffing around, but manager Simon Grayson will worry about that another day after victory provided him with a record four-timer - having previously guided Blackpool, Leeds and Huddersfield up from League One.

The victory rarely looked in doubt after Beckford got his foot to Paul Gallagher's free-kick to prod Preston in front.

Ten minutes later Gallagher had time to pick out Paul Huntington, who was unmarked as he guided the ball home from the edge of the six-yard box.

Beckford all but wrapped up the result a minute before half time when he turned inside Jordan Turnbull on the edge of the box before curling a superb effort into the corner.

In the 56th minute, Joe Garner sent Beckford through again and he made no mistake to complete his treble and make it 10th time lucky for Preston.

Belfast Telegraph

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