Ipswich kept pace with Sky Bet Championship leaders Leicester and extended their lead over third-placed Preston to eight points after a thrilling 4-2 victory over North End at Portman Road.

Conor Chaplin fired Ipswich ahead before the visitors levelled through Mads Frokjaer-Jensen. Brandon Williams’ superb solo effort restored Town’s advantage, which was added to by Nathan Broadhead.

Ben Whiteman got Preston back in it, but Kayden Jackson’s late fourth ensured promoted Ipswich’s extraordinary start to the season continued and inflicted a third straight defeat for the visitors.

Preston were on the back foot defending resolutely in the opening stages, but Town broke the deadlock in the 18th minute with a wonderfully-worked corner routine.

Leif Davis found Chaplin unmarked 12 yards from goal and his first-time strike beat goalkeeper Freddie Woodman.

Broadhead then had the Preston shot-stopper scrambling back on his goal-line after an audacious shot at goal from fully 50 yards out.

But Preston drew level in the 27th minute. Town defenders Luke Woolfenden and Cameron Burgess failed to deal with a through ball and Frokjaer-Jensen placed the ball past home goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky.

Massimo Luongo went down in the penalty area, with appeals for a spot kick turned away, but Ipswich soon retook the lead through Williams.

It came from a darting run forward down the right from just inside his own half. He cut inside the penalty area and his precise shot struck the inside of the left-hand post before settling in the back of the net.

Just before the break, Broadhead’s shot from 25 yards was deflected wide and from the resulting corner Town went further in front.

Broadhead was on hand to nudge the ball over the line after George Hirst headed back into the danger zone.

Again, Preston fought their way back into the game after manager Ryan Lowe made three changes at half-time.

Substitute Whiteman’s shot from outside the box after 52 minutes took a deflection off Luke Woolfenden to beat Hladky and reduced the arrears to 3-2.

The visitors were firmly back in it and pressed forward at every opportunity.

But Ipswich confirmed their victory in the 78th minute following a flowing move, which was finished off by substitute Jackson as Kieran McKenna’s side made it six games unbeaten.