Four-goal Garner joins PNE elite club

Garner celebrates scoring his side's second goal
Garner celebrates scoring his side's second goal
  • Striker part of exclusive bunch
  • First four-goal haul since Alex Bruce
  • Crewe hoodoo put to rest
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Joe Garner was pleased to have joined a select group of Preston North End players to have scored four goals in one game.

The ‘Jackal’ netted four in PNE’s 5-1 hiding of Crewe at Deepdale.

Garner is the first Lilywhites player to score four since Alex Bruce did so in February 1978 against Colchester.

Prior to that, you have to go back to December 1950 for a four-goal haul from Charlie Wayman away at QPR.

In North End’s history, only 17 players have scored four in one match.

Garner set the ball rolling on Preston’s biggest win for 11 months with an early shot from the edge of the box.

When you look at my goals, people will say the third one was the pick of the bunch.

He met Paul Gallagher’s cross to head a second before Crewe cut the deficit.

The striker’s hat-trick was a lovely shot on the turn from just inside the box, his fourth a tap in after Jermaine Beckford’s effort came back off the post.

Beckford, starting for the first time since January, made it 5-1 eight minutes from time.

Garner said: “It is always nice to score a hat-trick and to get four is a great feeling.

“I’ve not scored four in a game before and to do it here at Deepdale is even better.

“It is another three points and we are sat nicely in the league.

“I’ve always said that I am confident of scoring goals at this level.

“When you look at my goals against Crewe, people will say the third one was the pick of the bunch.

“But I think it was the fourth because I knew Becks wasn’t going to cut it back to me!

“I had it in my mind that his shot would either hit the post or come back off the keeper and come rolling to me.

“That proved to be the case and I had got myself ready for that to happen.”

Garner took the match ball home, adding to the ones he got after netting a hat-trick against Fleetwood in October and in the FA Cup replay win over Ipswich last season.

It could be that the ball has already taken a bit of a battering at the family home!

“My little lad usually boots the ball around the garden for a while and then I’ll find a glass display box for it,” said Garner.

“It was nice to score a few different types of goals.

“I got the shot away for the first and then when Gally got the ball out wide, I knew he would chop back in on his right foot and fly one over to the back post where I got up for the header.

“The third one, I had a bit of time with and tried to curl it in at the far post.

“With the fourth, it was just one of those where I gambled on it coming back off the post.

“I was pleased to see Jermaine score after that, he deserved his goal because he worked hard all game.

“He is a top player who gets into good positions and gets chances throughout a game.”

Preston return to action tomorrow night, Peterborough the visitors to Deepdale.

Posh are in seventh place, outside the play-offs on goal difference behind Saturday’s opponents Barnsley.