Paul Gallagher's 30-yard wonder goal was the highlight of Preston North End's win over Port Vale in League One.

The hosts took the lead through Joe Garner's header inside the six-yard box following a cross by Lee Holmes.

Gallagher, on loan from Leicester, converted Garner's pass to fire past Sam Johnson and Gallagher then set up Garner for his second from close range.

Headers from Gavin Tomlin and substitute Jordan Hugill set up a tense finish but Preston hung on.

Ben Williamson had a chance to level in the closing stages but put his shot wide.

Preston secured their third straight victory of the festive season and remain fourth, but close the gap on the automatic promotion places to two points.

The home side dominated much of the second half as Garner came close to a hat-trick when he tried to chip Johnson from 45 yards, while Holmes saw his header hit the post.

Jennison Myrie-Williams went close for the visitors, who are two points adrift of a play-off spot.

VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Preston manager Simon Grayson told BBC Radio Lancashire:

"For 70 minutes we were very good. We were patient with our play, we created some good chances and passed the ball around well.

"You can look at different factors as to why they got back into the game. First and foremost, they had nothing to lose.

"We couldn't deal with the physical presence they had at times, and we got a little bit nervous when the second one went in. But you have to do what you have to do to win a football match."

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (6)

Preston North End

  • 23 Rudd
  • 05 Clarke
  • 16 Buchanan
  • 37 Kilkenny
  • 22 King
  • 06 Wright
  • 12 Gallagher Booked (Davies - 82' )
  • 19 Welsh Booked
  • 14 Garner
  • 27 Hume (Humphrey - 74' )
  • 11 Holmes (Laird - 82' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Stuckmann
  • 02 Keane
  • 03 Laird
  • 07 Humphrey
  • 09 Davies
  • 10 Beavon
  • 30 Brownhill

Port Vale

  • 12 Johnson
  • 02 Yates
  • 24 Duffy Booked
  • 07 Loft Booked
  • 06 Chilvers
  • 05 Dickinson
  • 26 Birchall (Myrie-Williams - 61' )
  • 08 Dodds
  • 10 Tomlin
  • 11 Pope (Hugill - 68' )
  • 15 Shuker (Williamson - 59' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Neal
  • 04 Robertson
  • 09 Myrie-Williams
  • 19 Williamson
  • 22 Lloyd
  • 39 Hugill
  • 41 O'Neil
Ref: Kevin Wright
Att: 10,653

Match Stats

Shots

13 10

On target

5 3

Corners

9 3

Fouls

9 11

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Preston North End 3, Port Vale 2.

90:00 +5:04 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Preston North End 3, Port Vale 2.

90:00 +2:58 Booking

Booking Doug Loft (Port Vale) is shown the yellow card.

90:00 +2:20

Joe Garner (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90:00 +2:20

Foul by Liam Chilvers (Port Vale).

90:00 +2:01

Chris Humphrey (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

90:00 +2:01

Foul by Jordan Hugill (Port Vale).

87:41

Attempt missed. Ben Williamson (Port Vale) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

86:32

Foul by Joe Garner (Preston North End).

86:32

Gavin Tomlin (Port Vale) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

85:49

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Carl Dickinson.

83:55 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Preston North End 3, Port Vale 2. Jordan Hugill (Port Vale) header from the left side of the six yard box to the top right corner. Assisted by Carl Dickinson.

82:56

Attempt missed. Louis Dodds (Port Vale) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

82:21

Foul by Tom Clarke (Preston North End).

82:21

Gavin Tomlin (Port Vale) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

81:42 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Preston North End. Scott Laird replaces Lee Holmes.

81:12 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Preston North End. Kevin Davies replaces Paul Gallagher.

77:46

Attempt missed. Richard Duffy (Port Vale) header from the centre of the box misses to the right.

77:17

Corner, Port Vale. Conceded by John Welsh.

75:43

Joe Garner (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

75:43

Foul by Richard Duffy (Port Vale).

73:05 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Preston North End. Chris Humphrey replaces Iain Hume.

72:39

Attempt missed. Joe Garner (Preston North End) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

72:05

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Richard Duffy.

70:54

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

70:54

Foul by Liam Chilvers (Port Vale).

69:39

Attempt missed. Doug Loft (Port Vale) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

68:50 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Preston North End 3, Port Vale 1. Gavin Tomlin (Port Vale) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jennison Myrie-Williams with a cross.

67:40 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Port Vale. Jordan Hugill replaces Tom Pope.

66:22

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Sam Johnson.

65:49

John Welsh (Preston North End) wins a free kick on the left wing.

65:49

Foul by Louis Dodds (Port Vale).

64:09 Booking

Booking John Welsh (Preston North End) is shown the yellow card.

64:05

Foul by John Welsh (Preston North End).

64:05

Louis Dodds (Port Vale) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

63:23

Attempt saved. Joe Garner (Preston North End) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is saved in the top centre of the goal.

62:36

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Sam Johnson.

61:47

Attempt missed. Doug Loft (Port Vale) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

61:02 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Preston North End 3, Port Vale 0. Joe Garner (Preston North End) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Paul Gallagher.

60:39

Attempt saved. Iain Hume (Preston North End) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

60:01 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Port Vale. Jennison Myrie-Williams replaces Chris Birchall.

58:44 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Port Vale. Ben Williamson replaces Chris Shuker.

57:51

Foul by Joe Garner (Preston North End).

57:51

Liam Chilvers (Port Vale) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

56:41

Bailey Wright (Preston North End) wins a free kick on the right wing.

56:41

Foul by Tom Pope (Port Vale).

54:39

Attempt missed. Joe Garner (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

53:43

Paul Gallagher (Preston North End) wins a free kick on the right wing.

53:43

Foul by Gavin Tomlin (Port Vale).

51:23

Attempt missed. Iain Hume (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

50:00

Foul by Bailey Wright (Preston North End).

50:00

Chris Birchall (Port Vale) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

49:11 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Preston North End 2, Port Vale 0. Paul Gallagher (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Joe Garner.

46:50

Attempt missed. Louis Dodds (Port Vale) left footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right.

45:52

Iain Hume (Preston North End) hits the left post with a header from the centre of the box.

45:00

Second Half begins Preston North End 1, Port Vale 0.

45:00 +1:13 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Preston North End 1, Port Vale 0.

45:00 +0:25

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Louis Dodds.

44:52 Booking

Booking Richard Duffy (Port Vale) is shown the yellow card.

44:45

Joe Garner (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

44:45

Foul by Richard Duffy (Port Vale).

42:54 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Preston North End 1, Port Vale 0. Joe Garner (Preston North End) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Lee Holmes with a cross.

40:13 Booking

Booking Paul Gallagher (Preston North End) is shown the yellow card.

40:05

Paul Gallagher (Preston North End) has gone down, but that's a dive.

37:34

Corner, Port Vale. Conceded by Jack King.

35:45

Attempt saved. Chris Birchall (Port Vale) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

31:43

Attempt missed. Bailey Wright (Preston North End) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right following a corner.

31:28

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Chris Shuker.

30:09

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Richard Duffy.

29:33

Attempt blocked. Joe Garner (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

25:32

Foul by Gavin Tomlin (Port Vale).

25:32

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

25:03

Corner, Port Vale. Conceded by Neil Kilkenny.

24:24

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Carl Dickinson.

23:16

Attempt missed. Paul Gallagher (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

18:41

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Gavin Tomlin.

17:12

Foul by Lee Holmes (Preston North End).

17:12

Chris Shuker (Port Vale) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

14:40

Lee Holmes (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

14:40

Foul by Chris Shuker (Port Vale).

10:34

Hand ball by Joe Garner (Preston North End).

9:54

Attempt missed. Louis Dodds (Port Vale) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left.

4:53

Foul by Jack King (Preston North End).

4:53

Carl Dickinson (Port Vale) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

3:33

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

3:33

Foul by Adam Yates (Port Vale).

1:12

Attempt missed. Lee Holmes (Preston North End) left footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

Live data and text provided by our data suppliers