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Preston 2-4 Millwall: Zian Flemming scores a hat-trick as Lions win | football news

Record signing Zian Flemming pulled off a superb hat-trick as Millwall cruised to a 4-2 win at Preston.

Dutch ace Flemming was in a predatory frame of mind as he inspired the Lions to a deserved first victory in four games, while Preston’s three-game winning streak came to an abrupt halt.

Flemming put Millwall up 2-0 before Preston struck back to level the score on the half hour mark.

However, the striker completed his hat-trick in the second half and Charlie Cresswell sealed a fabulous away win.

The Lions struck early in what turned out to be an exciting first 45 minutes.

Just four minutes had passed when Andreas Voglsammer crossed low for Flemming, and the great Dutchman produced a great spin before sinking a shot past Freddie Woodman from eight yards.

After those three games without a win there wasn’t even a goal, this had been a welcome opening boost for Gary Rowett’s men, but they nearly let the North End equalize soon after.

Emil Riis sent a cross to former Wales international Ched Evans, but his header went straight to George Long.

Preston, looking lethargic, fell further behind in the 16th minute, and it was Ajax youth product Flemming who scored again.

Home fans were stunned when the forward drilled a 20-yard free kick after Tom Bradshaw was clumsily fouled by Liam Lindsay.

Just when it looked like Preston was in for a long afternoon, they halved the deficit in the 20th minute through Andrew Hughes.

Billy Mitchell got in the way of his keeper and Hughes lobbed the ball over the line following Robbie Brady’s corner kick.

Deepdale then erupted when Evans headed in a precise cross from Hughes to make it 2-2.

Unbelievably, another powerful header from Evans almost gave the rejuvenated North End the lead towards the end of what had been a pulsating first half.

Preston’s momentum continued after the restart, and before five minutes were up both Evans and Ali McCann squandered very presentable opportunities to score a third.

Millwall were on the defensive as the hour mark approached, and Evans should have done better again when he fired wide after escaping the visitors’ defence.

North End finally ran out of steam and the Lions punished them, with that man Flemming doing the damage once again.

He scored his third goal from six yards after latching onto an effervescent low cross from Danny McNamara.

It was Millwall who were now in the ascendancy again, and they soon made it 4-2 to conclude an eye-catching success away from home.

This time around, Leeds loan Cresswell headed in at the far post after Voglsammer’s cross headed his way.

What the managers said…

by Preston Ryan Lowe: “I’m disappointed, frustrated of course. We knew in advance what Millwall was about, we knew they would be a handful for us, but the goals we’ve conceded are really criminal. It just hasn’t been us this season.

“We got to half time and I told the guys to get the basics right, and we started well, so I was hoping for another goal to come, but the last two goals were disappointing for us.”

millwall Gary Rowett: “He produced three moments of brilliance. We needed that, and in fact, if you look around this division, most teams have a player like that, game-changing players.

“He knows what he needs to do to be successful at this level, but he has produced three real quality moments today, three quality Premier League moments. He puts himself in some great positions and has that composure, and today he has his reward.” . He has an amazing future in the game ahead of him.”

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