League One
PrestonPreston North End4SwindonSwindon Town0

Preston North End 4-0 Swindon Town

By Nathan MiddletonBBC Sport at Wembley
Jermaine Beckford and Simon Grayson
Jermaine Beckford (left) is only the third player to ever score a play-off final hat-trick at Wembley

Jermaine Beckford scored a hat-trick to help Preston end their dismal play-off record by thrashing Swindon in the League One final at Wembley.

Preston, who had lost in their previous nine play-off campaigns, went ahead when Beckford struck from close range.

Paul Huntington scored with a cushioned volley from a Paul Gallagher cross and Beckford curled in from the edge of the area to make it 3-0 at the break.

Beckford's third came as he slotted in when one-on-one with Wes Foderingham.

Preston recovered from missing out on promotion on the final day of the campaign to return to the second tier after a four-year absence.

Beckford, who has been on loan at Preston but was released by parent club Bolton last week, won the free-kick that Gallagher subsequently sent into his path inside the six-yard box to give the Lilywhites the perfect start.

Hat-trick heroes
Jermaine Beckford is only the third player ever to score a hat-trick in a play-off final at Wembley after Scott Sinclair (Swansea, 2011) and Clive Mendonca (Charlton, 1998).

As well as conceding, Swindon lost captain Nathan Thompson with a leg injury as he tried - and failed - to challenge Beckford in the build-up to the goal.

Preston centre-back Huntington added a second when he arrived unmarked to tap home from Gallagher's inswinging delivery from the left - his ninth goal of the season.

Mark Cooper's Swindon side dominated possession for the majority of the game and striker Michael Smith should have got a goal back when he headed wide from Nathan Byrne's cross.

Moments later, Beckford, who scored three goals in the play-off semi-final, reached Joe Garner's flicked pass before beautifully curling a left-footed shot into the bottom corner.

He completed his hat-trick when strike partner Garner sent him clear of the defence and Beckford calmly sent the ball beyond Foderingham.

A long-range Jordan Turnbull effort and a Jonathan Obika header, which was tipped wide late on, were among the Robins' best chances to score.

Swindon boss Mark Cooper:

"We didn't deal with Joe Garner and Jermaine Beckford.

"If a ball comes in your box and you don't want to head it or compete then you're in trouble.

"You've got to give credit to Preston, they were excellent.

"Over the season we've been very, very good and entertained a lot of people."

Paul Huntington
Paul Huntington celebrates scoring Preston's second
Jermaine Beckford and Simon Grayson
Beckford celebrates his second with Preston boss Simon Grayson, who has now been promoted out of the third tier four times as a manager
Preston celebrate
Preston lost in the League One play-off semi final to eventual winner Rotherham last season
Swindon fans
Swindon fans will have to endure another season outside the second tier, where they have not played since 2000



Formation 4-3-3

  • 34Johnstone
  • 5Clarke
  • 6Wright
  • 23Huntington
  • 15Woods
  • 8Kilkenny
  • 19Welsh
  • 24JohnsonSubstituted forLairdat 82'minutes
  • 10BeckfordSubstituted forDaviesat 68'minutes
  • 14Garner
  • 12GallagherSubstituted forBrowneat 37'minutes


  • 3Laird
  • 7Humphrey
  • 9Davies
  • 17Reid
  • 21Stuckmann
  • 25Hugill
  • 31Browne


Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Foderingham
  • 5Stephens
  • 2ThompsonSubstituted forRickettsat 5'minutes
  • 6Turnbull
  • 3Byrne
  • 4Luongo
  • 8KasimBooked at 54mins
  • 7GladwinSubstituted forThompsonat 58'minutes
  • 15ToffoloSubstituted forWilliamsat 66'minutes
  • 20Obika
  • 9Smith


  • 10Williams
  • 19Thompson
  • 24Hylton
  • 25Belford
  • 26Rodgers
  • 29Rossi Branco
  • 36Ricketts
Andy Madley

Match Stats

Home TeamPrestonAway TeamSwindon
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Preston North End 4, Swindon Town 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Preston North End 4, Swindon Town 0.

  3. Post update

    Louis Thompson (Swindon Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Joe Garner (Preston North End).

  5. Post update

    Offside, Preston North End. Scott Laird tries a through ball, but Joe Garner is caught offside.

  6. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Nathan Byrne (Swindon Town) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Massimo Luongo.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Swindon Town. Conceded by Sam Johnstone.

  8. Post update

    Attempt saved. Jonathan Obika (Swindon Town) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Yaser Kasim.

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Preston North End. Scott Laird replaces Daniel Johnson.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Swindon Town. Conceded by Sam Johnstone.

  11. Post update

    Attempt saved. Jordan Turnbull (Swindon Town) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Louis Thompson.

  12. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Jonathan Obika (Swindon Town) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  13. Post update

    Massimo Luongo (Swindon Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Neil Kilkenny (Preston North End).

  15. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Louis Thompson (Swindon Town) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Massimo Luongo.

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Kevin Davies (Preston North End) header from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Neil Kilkenny with a cross following a set piece situation.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Jordan Turnbull (Swindon Town).

  18. Post update

    Kevin Davies (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Nathan Byrne (Swindon Town).

  20. Post update

    Paul Huntington (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

As It Stood

1Bristol City462912596385899
2MK Dons4627109101445791
5Sheff Utd4619141366531371
18Port Vale46159225565-1054
21Notts County461214204563-1850
23Leyton Orient461213215969-1049
View full League One table

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