PNE 3 Swindon Town 0
A hat-trick from Joe Garner gave the Lilywhites a home victory over Swindon Town to take the promotion race into the final game of the season.
A lob started things off in the second minute before a powerful header on the stroke of half-time doubled his and his team's tally.
Another header six minutes after the break, after Jermaine Beckford's initial effort had come back off the bar, gave Simon Grayson's men the three points.
There was one change for North End with Chris Humphrey coming into the side in place of Callum Robinson with North End switching to a 3-5-2 formation.
But the change didn’t affect North End as they got off to a blistering start and were one up inside two minutes.
A ball was cleared by Swindon out to Paul Gallagher on the left who delivered back in to Joe garner who got inside Jack Stephens and lobbed the ball over Swindon goalkeeper Tyrell Belford.
It was Garner’s 100th appearance for the Lilywhites and his 23rd league goal of the season, but certainly not his last!
The visitors, as manager Simon Grayson had suggested before the game, had plenty of possession and Jack Barthram down the right looked a threat and had the Robins’ first chance, his shot saved by Sam Johnstone low to his left, pushing the ball behind for a corner.
At the half’s mid-point Joe Garner brought a long ball from skipper Tom Clarke down on the edge of the box and hit a volley just inches wide of the left hand post with Belford beaten.
Six minutes before the break Joe Garner was hauled down in the box by Jordan Turnbull, a massive shout for a penalty – it looked on replay a stone wall spot kick – but it was not given by Gary Sutton the referee.
However it was two just before the interval as Garner added his and the team’s second, powering home a header into the bottom right hand corner from Paul Gallagher’s free kick 30 yards out after Garner had been upended by Turnbull, who was booked.
Five minutes into the second half and Garner had a superb chance for his hat-trick as Chris Humphrey flew down the right and delivered brilliantly to the edge of the six yard box, but the No.14 could only direct the ball over the bar.
However, he only had to wait one minute for his third as Jermaine Beckford raced down the left channel into the box and fired a shot in that came back off the bar and Garner powered a header into the Town End goal from ten yards out for his second hat-trick of the season.
With 15 mi9nutes to go Joe Garner left the field to a standing ovation with Kevin Davies replacing the 25 goal League One player of the year.
Substitute Davies went close with a header from a Paul Gallagher corner after a defender had given away a corner with an interception that cost the experienced frontman a fourth.
However, the remaining minutes were played out without too much difficulty as the team took the win and then thanked the supporters with a lap of thanks at the final whistle.
: Johnstone, Clarke (c), Huntington, Wright, Humphrey, Gallagher, Welsh (Kilkenny, 86), Johnson, Laird, Garner (K Davies, 76), Beckford (Robinson, 81): Subs not used: Stuckmann, Wiseman, Woods, Ebanks-Blake.PNE line-up
: T Belford, Stephens, Turnbull, M Smith (Cooke, 83), Barker, Barthram (Williams, 55), Hylton, Rodgers (T Smith, 70), Randall, Marshall, Ricketts (c). Subs not used: C Belford, Jones, Antonio, Wood.Swindon Town line-up
: 17,621 (717 away fans)Attendance
: Mr G SuttonReferee