Lee Clark saw Huddersfield Town continue their unbeaten run when they beat fellow promotion hopefuls Preston at the Galpharm Stadium, writes Robert Gledhill.
Clark named an unchanged Huddersfield side for the visit of seventh-placed Preston, who arrived at the Galpharm on the back of three successive defeats.
It meant that Jordan Rhodes and Alan Lee led the Town attack in a 4-4-2 formation against Phil Brown’s Preston, who were again without former Sheffield Wednesday striker Neil Mellor due to ankle trouble but who had ex Barnsley striker Ian Hume up front.
Town were gifted an early goal when goalkeeper Iain Turner raced to the edge of area but missed his clearance from Tommy Miller’s through ball, allowing Rhodes to tap home into an empty net.
Preston stormed back but goalkeeper Ian bennett showed tremendous agility to pawaway a shot from Iain Hume which had deflected over his head.
In a fiercly fought encounter, Town gradually wrested the initiative back from the visitors before the break.
And in the 42nd-minute Town made it 2-0, Jack Hunt delivering a perfect cross for Rhodes to head home off the post.
Town had the points wrapped up by the 57th minute as Rhodes completed a second successive hat-trick, placing the ball home from 12 yards after taking a return pass from Scott Arfield to make it 3-0.
An error at the back, however, gave Preston a glimmer of hope as Juvhel Tsoumou coverted a cross from Hume from close range.
The dangerous Hume hobbled out of the action before Bennett went full length to keep out a free-kick from David Gray and Town substitute Danny Ward was a foot wide late on.
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