Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Summary

  1. Preston reach League One play-off final
  2. Beckford fires Preston into first-half lead
  3. Garner nets penalty after Murphy foul
  4. Beckford's second a brilliant long-range strike
  5. Lilywhites face Sheff Utd or Swindon in final

Live Reporting

By Phil Cartwright

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Preston heading to Wembley

FT: Preston North End 3-0 Chesterfield (4-0 agg)

Jermaine Beckford
Getty Images

This chap scored three of the four goals that have sent Preston to the League One play-off final. Jermaine Beckford's 60-yard screamer will live long in the memory.

Maybe it will be 10th time lucky in the play-offs for Preston, especially if their number 10 can keep up this sort of goalscoring form at Wembley on 24 May.

Commiserations to Chesterfield, who have had a tremendous first season in League One and fell just short in the play-offs, but have given their fans plenty to be proud of.

Join us later for the next instalment of the play-offs at around 18:00 BST, as Stevenage host Southend in League Two.

Thanks for your company.

Still to come...

League Two: Stevenage v Southend (18:35 BST)

Two of the Football League's most charismatic managers take their teams into play-off battle this evening, as Graham Westley's Stevenage host Phil Brown's Southend.

It's only seven years since Brown won the Championship play-offs as manager of Hull City...

Phil Brown
Getty Images

...while Westley was the Stevenage boss when they went up from League Two via the play-offs in 2011.

Graham Westley
Getty Images

BBC Sport's live text commentary begins at around 18:00 BST.

FT: Preston North End 3-0 Chesterfield (4-0 agg)

Preston North End
Getty Images/BBC

Preston striker and North End fan Joe Garner: "It's a great day for us all and hopefully we can finish the job off at Wembley. Preston usually do it the hard way, but hopefully we can get that result and send the fans home happy."

FT: Preston North End 3-0 Chesterfield (4-0 agg)

I'm sure there will be more on Paul Cook's future in the coming days...

FT: Preston North End 3-0 Chesterfield (4-0 agg)

Chesterfield manager Paul Cook tells Sky Sports: "The easiest thing to do is to come on and say what's gone right and what's gone wrong. At times like this, you must compliment the players on how well they've played through the whole season. They're a credit to the club. Our honesty was there for all to see.

"The most important thing is to congratulate Preston and wish them well in the final. They showed their quality today with some of their finishes and we wish them well at Wembley, as well as the other two teams (Sheffield United and Swindon) that are playing tomorrow night."

Cook leaving Chesterfield?

FT: Preston North End 3-0 Chesterfield (4-0 agg)

Paul Cook has been in charge of Chesterfield since October 2012, and guided them to promotion to League One last season, winning the fourth-tier title.

League Two Portsmouth, meanwhile, have been managerless since their

previous boss Andy Awford stepped down.

The 2008 FA Cup winners finished 16th in the table this season.

Cook leaving Chesterfield?

FT: Preston North End 3-0 Chesterfield (4-0 agg)

BBC Radio Sheffield

reported last month that Chesterfield had refused Portsmouth permission to speak to Paul Cook, with the timing of the approach angering Spireites chief executive Chris Turner.

"It's very disturbing at this time of the season - we've got a big game on Saturday," said Turner on 23 April. "We do not want Paul to leave, we want him to stay."

Cook leaving Chesterfield?

FT: Preston North End 3-0 Chesterfield (4-0 agg)

Paul Cook
Getty Images

Some interesting news coming from BBC Radio Sheffield's Andy Giddings on Twitter:

"The Paul Cook era ends with a play-off loss to Preston. I understand a deal has been agreed that will see Cook become Portsmouth boss next week. BBC Radio Sheffield understands Chesterfield hope to make an announcement on his replacement by the end of the week.

"Sources tell me former Doncaster boss Dean Saunders, Brian Deane and Leam Richardson are under consideration to become the next boss."

FT: Preston North End 3-0 Chesterfield (4-0 agg)

Preston manager Simon Grayson tells Sky Sports: "They had some moments, we had some moments, but we know we're always going to get chances in our team with Gallagher, Garner and Beckford.

"Obviously you can see how much it means to our supporters to get to Wembley, where hopefully we can finish off the job."

FT: Preston North End 3-0 Chesterfield (4-0 agg)

Speaking to Sky Sports, more from Preston striker Jermaine Beckford on his wonder goal: "I slipped! Towards the end of the game, my legs started to go. It's the only option I had, so I thought I'd have a go with the way my luck's been at the moment. It managed to fly in."

FT: Preston North End 3-0 Chesterfield (4-0 agg)

Preston striker Jermaine Beckford tells Sky Sports: "It's a feeling of relief. I'm very grateful for the chance that's been given to me.

"I'm happy we've got a chance to get rid of this hoodoo that's been hanging over us."

Nine play-off failures out of nine for Preston before this year - can it be 10th time lucky?

Preston North End 3-0 Chesterfield (4-0 agg)

Simon Grayson has won promotion from the third tier with all of the three clubs he's previously managed - Blackpool, Leeds and Huddersfield.

He's one win away from making it four with Preston North End.

Preston North End 3-0 Chesterfield (4-0 agg)

Jamie Hoyland

Ex-Bury and Burnley midfielder, BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

"Fair play to the staff for picking the Preston players up - and fair play to the players for how they've performed over the two legs."

A week ago, Preston missed out on automatic promotion. That seems a long time ago now.

FT: Preston North End 3-0 Chesterfield (4-0 agg)

Pitch invasion
BBC

As expected, there's a pitch invasion and most of the Preston players are being carried aloft by the home supporters. They're on their way to Wembley on 24 May for the League One play-off final.

A 3-0 win today secured a 4-0 aggregate victory over Chesterfield, capped by Jermaine Beckford's astonishing strike from the halfway line in the dying minutes.

BreakingFULL-TIME

FT: Preston North End 3-0 Chesterfield (4-0 agg)

PRESTON NORTH END REACH THE LEAGUE ONE PLAY-OFF FINAL.

Preston North End 3-0 Chesterfield (4-0 agg)

There's a mass of Preston supporters heading down to the front of the stands and it wouldn't surprise me if there's a pitch invasion when the final whistle blows...

Preston North End 3-0 Chesterfield (4-0 agg)

Jermaine Beckford has taken a bang to the head and is receiving some treatment. When he comes round, the physio will be telling him it wasn't a dream. He did actually score from the halfway line.

Preston North End 3-0 Chesterfield (4-0 agg)

Into four minutes of stoppage time now, but the game is all over.

Preston North End 3-0 Chesterfield (4-0 agg)

You'll be watching that goal again and again and again. A superb opportunist strike, and some way to confirm your place at Wembley.

GOAL (Beckford)

Preston North End 3-0 Chesterfield (4-0 agg)

Simon Grayson
Getty Images

Wow. Jermaine Beckford. What a goal.

The striker picks the ball up inside his own half, spots Joe Murphy off his line and lobs him from 60 yards.

That was special. Very, very special.

Preston North End 2-0 Chesterfield (3-0 agg)

Preston sub Chris Humphrey uses his pace to great effect, racing down the right touchline and putting in a cross that doesn't quite reach Jermaine Beckford in the centre. It's a corner, though, which Joe Garner heads well over.

Preston North End 2-0 Chesterfield (3-0 agg)

Jamie Hoyland

Ex-Bury and Burnley midfielder, BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

"Preston have looked comfortable. I know there was that chance in the first half and Sam Johnstone has pulled off a good save, but other than that they've looked comfortable and got the goals at the right times."

SUBSTITUTION

Preston North End 2-0 Chesterfield (3-0 agg)

Chesterfield winger Gary Roberts goes down in pain and signals to the bench to say he's unable to continue. Maybe a kick on the knee? Anyway, his afternoon is over, and Dan Gardner is on for the final nine minutes and stoppage time.

Preston North End 2-0 Chesterfield (3-0 agg)

Another Chesterfield corner comes to nothing, as Armand Gnanduillet heads tamely and well wide.

SUBSTITUTION

Preston North End 2-0 Chesterfield (3-0 agg)

When you're trailing in a cup tie with 15 minutes left, the last thing you want to see is a lightning quick winger coming off the bench. Chris Humphrey is on for Preston in place of Calum Woods.

CLOSE!

Preston North End 2-0 Chesterfield (3-0 agg)

Chesterfield
Getty Images

Chesterfield's Jimmy Ryan tries one from long range and his shot fizzes just wide. From the next attack, Jay O'Shea hits the post at the end of a mazy run. You get the feeling it's just not going to be Chesterfield's day.

Preston North End 2-0 Chesterfield (3-0 agg)

Nathan Middleton

BBC Sport at Deepdale

"There's a party atmosphere inside Deepdale now as Preston fans go through various routines of Wembley chants, as well as a few renditions of 'we are going up'.

"In contrast, it's much quieter from the away faithful, who've spent the majority of the time since Joe Garner's penalty sat down not making too much noise."

SUBSTITUTION

Preston North End 2-0 Chesterfield (3-0 agg)

Preston's second change sees Scott Laird - a scorer in their FA Cup defeat by Manchester United earlier this season - come on for young midfielder Daniel Johnson. The experienced Laird will add another calm head to proceedings as North End look to see this game out without alarm.

Preston North End 2-0 Chesterfield (3-0 agg)

Chesterfield have come back from a similar position to this at Deepdale already this season. The Spireites trailed 3-0 in their league meeting in September but fought back to draw 3-3 with an Eoin Doyle hat-trick. How they must wish Doyle was in their squad today.

SUBSTITUTION

Preston North End 2-0 Chesterfield (3-0 agg)

That's Daniel Jones' last action, as the Chesterfield left-back is replaced by the more attacking Gboly Ariyibi.

It's Chesterfield's second change - striker Armand Gnanduillet came on for Ollie Banks just after Preston's second goal.

YELLOW CARD

Preston North End 2-0 Chesterfield (3-0 agg)

The Preston fans are jumping up and down now. They know they're just one more win away from a place in the Championship.

On the field, North End captain Tom Clarke has been booked for a tackle on Daniel Jones.

Preston North End 2-0 Chesterfield (3-0 agg)

Joe Garner
Getty Images

Joe Garner has happy memories of League One play-off semi-finals at Deepdale. Remember this wonder volley against Rotherham last season?

Now he's scored the penalty that has, more or less, confirmed North End's place at Wembley on 24 May.

GOAL (Garner pen)

Preston North End 2-0 Chesterfield (3-0 agg)

Joe Garner
Getty Images

As a goalkeeper in these games, you can either be a hero or a villain. Joe Murphy, signed yesterday by Chesterfield, is the villain here as he rushes from his goal line and brings down Daniel Johnson with the Preston man going well away from goal. A cheap penalty, clinically converted by Joe Garner.

Barring a second-half collapse, Preston are heading to Wembley.

PENALTY

Preston North End 1-0 Chesterfield (2-0 agg)

Penalty for Preston...

Preston North End 1-0 Chesterfield (2-0 agg)

Paul Cook
Getty Images

Chesterfield have had 75% possession so far in this second half but have yet to seriously test Sam Johnstone in the Preston goal. They could do with a breakthrough, and quickly.

Preston North End 1-0 Chesterfield (2-0 agg)

A dangerous cross from Daniel Jones, who's galloped down the Chesterfield left time and again today, earns the visitors a corner. Gary Roberts drills it in and finds Ian Evatt, but the big defender heads straight at Sam Johnstone from 18 yards.

SUBSTITUTION

Preston North End 1-0 Chesterfield (2-0 agg)

And here is that substitution, as Paul Gallagher is helped from the field and replaced by youngster Alan Browne.

Preston North End 1-0 Chesterfield (2-0 agg)

Preston are preparing a substitution as Paul Gallagher is struggling with a knock.

Preston North End 1-0 Chesterfield (2-0 agg)

Just the start Chesterfield wanted - a sustained spell of pressure inside Preston territory and the hosts are forced to concede a corner. It's cleared to safety but Chesterfield retain possession.

Preston North End 1-0 Chesterfield (2-0 agg)

Chesterfield kick off the second half. They need at least two goals in this half to keep their dreams of back-to-back promotions alive.