Joe Garner scored a hat-trick on Tuesday night as Preston knocked out Ipswich Town of the FA Cup with a 3-2 win
Joe Garner took his tally for the season to 13 last night as he inspired Preston North End to a third round replay win over Championship side Ipswich Town.
The former Nottingham Forest striker is enjoying a prolific run of form, that has seen him become a key player for North End in the last couple of months.
Garner started on the bench on Tuesday night however, but when PNE went a goal down, Garner was thrown on and made an immediate impact. He scored in the 68th minute, and within 45 seconds of the restart scored again. Nicknamed 'The Jackal' by his teammates, the striker went on to bag his third of the game in the 88th minute handing Preston a 3-2 win and a trip to Nottingham Forest in the fourth round - to face former manager Billy Davies.
The 20 minute hat-trick gave the North End faithful something to cheer after a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday. It was Garner's first hat-trick in his professional career, and more remarkably he had also achieved a first in the history of Preston North End. Never before had a substitute scored a hat-trick for the club. The self-confessed PNE fan was delighted to take home the match ball.
After a promising spell at the age of 19 at Carlisle United, big things were expected of the former Blackburn Rovers youngster. After scoring 19 goals in 49 appearances for the club he attracted the interest of Nottingham Forest and moved to the club for over £1 million.
His time at Forest was disrupted by injuries, and he fell out of favour with Billy Davies who had an abundance of strikers to choose from. Spells on loan at Huddersfield Town and Scunthorpe United followed before a move to Watford permanently. Again he struggled to establish himself there before joining Preston North End in January of last year.
He failed to convince North End fans that he could be the man to fire them to promotion and it seemed as if he would just be a back-up player this season. How he has proved them wrong.
He has become the first name on the team sheet in recent weeks and seems to have a burning desire and hunger for the game now - with 13 goals so far this season and plenty more set to come. He is in great form now, and recently signed an extension to his contract keeping him at Deepdale until the summer of 2015. Simon Grayson may look at extending that even further if Garner continues his rich vein of form.