Preston North End were beaten 4-2 by Millwall in a topsy-turvy Championship clash at Deepdale.
Zian Flemming got his side off to a dream start, scoring a brace inside the opening 11 minutes, before Ryan Lowe’s men pulled one back when the ball was bundled home on 20 minutes.
Ched Evans’ header – his third goal in two games – then drew PNE level and it was the hosts who looked most likely to win from that point, but Flemming and Charlie Cresswell earned three points for the Lions.
Just four minutes had been played when Dutchman Flemming scored his first of the afternoon, receiving the ball with his back to goal before turning and slamming into the bottom corner.
The 24-year-old then grabbed his second of the day on 11 minutes, when his low-struck free-kick took a nick off the North End defensive wall and wrongfooted Freddie Woodman, who was left helpless.
PNE had a quick response, though, and on 20 minutes were level. Robbie Brady whipped a great cross in from the right and, after Alan Browne and Andrew Hughes competed for it at the far post, the ball struck the back of goalkeeper George Long and just about crossed the line.
North End then found an equaliser eight minutes later through Evans, with the forward rising highest to meet Andrew Hughes’ brilliant cross from the left, and his header went back across goal and into the far corner.
Evans then came so close to another before the break, sending a bullet header a matter of inches wide after being found by skipper Alan Browne.
Then, four minutes into the second half, Evans had another presentable opportunity, but his low-driven effort curled the wrong side of the post, before Ali McCann was denied by Long moments later.
Despite North End’s pressure, it was Millwall who scored the next goal of the game, with Flemming sealing his hat-trick after Danny McNamara’s low cross made its way across the area.
Defender Cresswell then appeared to take the game beyond the hosts on 72 minutes, when a corner was flicked in his direction and he headed home at the far post.
PNE kept pushing for another, with Ben Woodburn coming closest from long range, but the game finished 4-2 in Millwall’s favour to put North End’s winning run to an end before the World Cup break.
PNE starting XI: Woodman; Storey, Lindsay, Hughes (Maguire, 78); Potts, Ledson, Browne (Woodburn, 67), McCann, Brady (Fernández, 67); Evans (Johnson, 77), Riis. Subs not used: Cornell, Cunningham, Diaby.
Millwall starting XI: Long; McNamara, Cresswell, Cooper, Wallace; Saville (Styles, 85), Mitchell; Voglsammer (Shackleton, 85), Flemming (Bennett, 88, Honeyman (Malone, 53); Bradshaw (Burey, 88). Subs not used: Bialkowski, Evans.
Attendance: 15,184 (662 away fans).
Referee: Mr O Langford.