Magic Osmajic Bags Seven-Minute Hat Trick As Preston North End See Off Huddersfield Town

Preston North End were in a desperate search for all three points as they welcomed relegation-threatened Huddersfield Town to Deepdale.

The home side achieved their goal in stunning fashion, ending the night as 4-1 victors. However, it was Montenegro international Milutin Osmajic who grabbed the headlines with three goals in just seven minutes.

The first half offered little to no opportunity for the Lilywhites to assert any sort of dominance over Huddersfield, with the home side even finding themselves trailing 1-0 at halftime to a Josh Koroma finish.

The tide turned when Will Keane was brought down inside the box early in the second half. The Republic of Ireland international showed great composure to slot his penalty into the bottom right corner. Deep into the second half, any sort of rhythm that Town had found in the game was thwarted by the impactful 76th-minute introductions of Alan Browne and Osmajic.

One man who has surely got Preston North End fans dreaming is Osmajic. A simply sublime performance off the bench saw the 24-year-old continue his recovery from injury to set Deepdale alight. Not only did the Montenegrin score the winner in the 84th minute, he then went on to secure all three points by slotting his second into the bottom left corner, and completed his hat trick with a third into the top left in the 92nd minute.

The Terriers are currently battling a tough relegation fight and subsequently sit outside the drop zone on goal difference. For the home side, this inspired substitution could spark a late play-off twist. With Norwich City dropping points in a 2-2 draw against a resilient Sheffield Wednesday, and Southampton defeating fellow candidates Coventry City 2-1 at home, the Lilywhites could reignite their sixth-place dreams if they can beat Norwich in this Saturday’s huge six-pointer.

Before this scintillating display of clinical finishing, Osmajic had struggled to find his feet in a Preston shirt following his £2.15 million move from Cadiz last summer. The striker had endured a frustrating tenure up until this point, appearing to be third choice behind Will Keane and Emil Riis.

With only five goals and two assists, Preston’s record signing was yet to catch the headlines until his fantastic performance against Huddersfield this time around. Any doubts about the striker’s ability have now surely been quashed. This seven-minute hat trick is the first for Preston since Simon Makienok’s against Bournemouth on 20th September 2016 – an almost eight-year wait.

Writer’s View

A worrying first-half performance raised some questions over Ryan Lowe’s tactical setup against Huddersfield, who have been largely poor over the course of the season. However, the Preston North End boss has had difficulties managing his side around a clear midfield injury crisis.

The second half, however, was an entirely separate narrative, with Osmajic scoring three to help his side to within five points of a play-off place with a game in hand. If the Montenegrin can replicate this imperious attacking threat in their final fixtures, then there is an increasing belief that Preston could do something special. Regardless, a gem has been unearthed this Tuesday.

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