PNE hero Beckford says Garner inspired goal

Preston North End's Jermaine Beckford celebrates scoring
Preston North End's Jermaine Beckford celebrates scoring
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PRESTON North End striker Jermaine Beckford believes his 87th minute wonder goal against Chesterfield is better than strike partner Joe Garner’s award-winning rocket against Rotherham United.

Beckford was over the moon after scoring three of North End’s four goals in the two-legged semi-final and firing North End to the play-off final at Wembley on May, 24.

But the striker saved the best until last with a spectacular chip late on.

And the striker revealed it was Garner – the scorer of THAT goal in last season’s failed play-off attempt a year ago – who inspired him to try his luck.

He said: “I had a word with Joe about five minutes prior to the goal and he said to me, ‘Look the keeper comes off his line quite far as well. If you get half a chance, have a look, if its on hit it as hard as you can in a straight line’.

“Fortunately for me it flew in and the rest is history.”

“It is one of those things, you can’t help but look back on Joe’s goal, it was a fantastic goal as well.

“It won all of the awards that it deserved to win because of what it was.

“Hopefully he will do it again in a couple of weeks at the final, that would be good.

“No doubt in my mind whose goal was best. They were both unbelievable in their own right, but I’m always going to go for my own aren’t I.”

And Beckford believes the secret to their successful partnership is they are both eager to score but are also selfless.

He said: “We are both very happy for the other to score so that adds to an even better strike partnership.

“I’ve just been told that I have 15 goals and Joe has got 20 odd, that speaks for itself.

“I’m very happy to play with someone that is as goal hungry as I am, but as selfless as I am too.

“That adds to the entertainment and excitement of it too. I’m very happy. The goal is up there. It has special meaning to myself and everybody who was here.

“The most important thing is that we apply ourselves in the right way in a couple of weeks time.”

Beckford’s first strike was also easy on the eye as his powerful shot crashed into the back netting in the 38th minute before Garner scored from the spot in the 62nd minute.

The on-loan Bolton striker has bagged 15 goals in 30 games since joining the Lilywhites in January – a figure even more impressive given the striker was sidelined with a severe ear infection for more than a month.

The striker scored on his comeback against Oldham on Febraury 28 and since then he has been in a rich vein of goalscoring form, netting 12 times in the last 17 games.

Beckford hailed his teammates for playing the sort of football that he thrives on.

He said: “Since the first day I managed to recover from the ear infection, I take every day as it comes.

“I try to apply myself in the right way and give 110% while I’m out on the field.

“Fortunately for me I am in a team that appreciate the way I play and I appreciate the way they play.

“Fifteen goals is not bad. I had no idea it was that many.

“I’m very happy, like I said before it is not just down to myself it is down to the team and the way that they play. I’m in a team that likes to pass forward. They pass forward early and it suits me really well. I’ve got to dedicate a few of those goals to them.”