Super-sub Joe Garner single handedly dispatched Ipswich Town to send Preston North End through to the Fourth Round of the FA Cup with a 3-2 victory.
PNE manager Simon Grayson started with top scorer Garner on the bench and the striker sparked North End into life when he was introduced just after the hour mark with two goals in two minutes.
The striker popped up to complete his hat-trick in the 88th minute and helped Preston progress from the third round replay to face former manager Billy Davies’ Nottingham Forest side.
North End drew 1-1 with the Championship opposition at Portman Road. But the League One promotion chasers sealed the third round tie at Deepdale thanks to hat-trick hero Garner.
Grayson made seven changes to the side that lost 2-0 away to Wolverhampton Wanderers as youngsters Will Hayhurst and josh Brownhill were named in the starting XI.
Whilst Scott Laird, Keith Keane and Paul Huntington started in place of David Buchanan, Bailey Wright and Jack King.
Grayson also recalled Kevin Davies and Chris Humphrey as Garner, Iain Hume and Lee Holmes are all named as substitutes to face Ipswich.
In a game of five goals only seven shots were struck on target in the 90 minutes.
In a quiet first half Ipswich had the first clear cut opportunity as Declan Rudd palmed the ball back out into the area from a Stephen Hunt corner. But Ryan Tunicliffe could not capitalise as his shot flew over the bar 16 minutes in.
Preston found some tempo thanks to some good interplay between youngsters Will Hayhurst and Josh Brownhill 24 minutes in - but they were thwarted by a strong Ipswich backline.
Minutes later a Gallagher free-kick from the left-hand side failed to test the keeper and North End could not jump on Frank Nouble’s miss-timed clearance on the edge of the penalty box.
Chris Humphrey had some joy on the right-hand side and in the 32nd minute he snuck behind the defence and skimmed the ball towards the six-yard area. But the teasing cross was cleared by Ipswich captain Carlos Edwards.
After some good link up play hit-man Nouble smacked a shot from the edge of the penalty area 37 minutes in that was deflected wide for an Ipswich corner.
Neil Kilkenny picked out Humphrey with precision on the right-hand side who whipped in another teasing cross that just evaded an on-running Davies just before half-time.
Laird had an opportunity at the start of the second half, but the Championship defenders ensured the danger was halted.
Hayhurst received the first yellow card of the night - he was booked for a challenge on Tyrone Mings in Ipswich’s penalty box.
But soon after Laird blocked a shot in PNE’s penalty area. The ball was sent back in and Tom Clarke chested the ball back towards PNE keeper Rudd. But Clarke’s touch was too heavy and Rudd raced to his left to try and stop the ball going out for a corner. The keeper just managed to keep it in play but lost control of the ball and Nouble was on hand to pinch possession on the line and blast it into the back of an empty net 57 minutes in.
Gallagher latched on to the ball just outside the left-hand side of the penalty area. But his dipping shot was deflected over the bar for a corner.
Gallagher took the subsequent corner in the 67th minute and substitute Garner headed through a crowd of players the ball took a deflection before beating Ipswich keeper Scott Loach.
Garner was only introduced to the game in the 62nd minute after replacing Hayhurst and manager Grayson’s substitution was inspired.
It took PNE’s top scorer just two more minutes to net his second. A composed Garner made himself some room in the penalty area before hitting a sweet shot past a helpless Loach.
Garner appealed for a penalty in the 73rd minute but referee Keith Stroud waved away the appeal. As the ball bounced around the area and the goalscorer protested Davies hit a snapshot that flew over the bar.
But another substitute, David McGoldrick, made his mark on the game. Ipswich’s top goalscorer made an immediate impact - rising up unmarked at the far post to head home an Edwards cross and equalise for the visitors in the 76th minute.
Soon after Lee Holmes sent a pass through to Gallagher who beat his man and picked the ball up on the back line. The Scotsman pulled the ball back to Garner, but the striker could not complete his hat-trick as the ball became stuck under his feet.
Up the other end Stephen Hunt should have tested Rudd as he ran onto the ball in the box.
But in the 88th minute Garner completed his hat-trick. The super-sub pounced on the ball on the right-hand side of the area, beat two Ipswich defenders, before expertly curling a shot into the left-hand corner of the goal.
Garner nearly bagged a fourth in injury time as Davies picked his strike partner out in the six-yard box. The striker attempted to connect with the ball first time, but fluffed his timing and the ball trickled to safety.
Mings was booked in injury time for a clumsy tackle on Holmes, as Preston survived six minutes of injury time to progress through to the next round.
6,088 fans at Deepdale joined in a round of applause in the 54th minute to mark the recent passing of life-long PNE fan Mick Murphy.
Meanwhile it was announced ahead of kick-off that Jeffrey Monakana has left the club and joined Brighton and Hove Albion on a permanent deal for an undisclosed fee.
PNE: Rudd, Keane, Clarke, Huntington, Laird, Kilkenny, Hayhurst (Garner, 62), Humphrey (Wright, 90), Gallagher, Davies, Brownhill (Holmnes, 79). Subs: Stuckmann, Beavon, Byrom, Hume
Ipswich Town: Loach, Smith, Berra, Edwards, Anderson (McGoldrick, 73), Hunt (Lee, 90), Mings, Tunnicliffe, Tabb (Taylor, 73), Hyam, Nouble. Subs: Gerken, Lawrence, Hammond, Clarke.
Referee: Keith Stroud (Hampshire)