A brace from striker Josh Amis followed by goals from Adam Thurston and Brandon Zibaka were enough to seal a comfortable and deserved win for the Lilywhites.
The first opportunity fell to Morecambe striker James Riley in the 14th minute. A through ball from Edward Gate set Riley free behind the Preston defence, the striker hesitated and sliced his effort wide under pressure.
Just seconds later North End raced up the other end of the pitch and created a chance for themselves.
A looping cross from the right flank by Joe Whittweton found Amis, the frontman attempted a powerful volley but didn’t make the desired contact as the ball was sent wide.
PNE managed to find the breakthrough ten minutes later after some clever passing play down the left wing. Matt Greenwood casually flicked the ball through the Morecambe defence for marauding winger Tyler Forbes to receive and drill a dangerous ball into the box.
The pinpoint cross found Amis who calmly side-footed past goalkeeper Luke Pybis to make it 1-0.
Amis extended the lead in the 34th minute after Forbes was creating more problems for the Morecambe backline.
Another troublesome cross from the midfielder wasn’t properly cleared as the ball was deflected into the air. The towering Amis rose to nod the ball in from close range for North End’s second.
Preston finished the first half as deserved leaders although they conceded just 39 seconds into the restart.
Riley burst into the 18-yard box from the right and his shot was well-saved by Steven James but the goalkeeper was powerless to prevent Simon Wearing from slotting in the rebound immediately after.
The Lilywhites regained total control over the encounter in the 54th minute after they were correctly awarded a penalty when Whitwhetton was brought down by defender Kieran Britton. Thurston stepped up to take the spot-kick and showed great composure
as he struck the ball into the top-right corner.
Morecambe nearly got a fortuitous second goal after a cross from Liam Wainwright in the 87th minute clipped the crossbar, although this did not halt Preston’s dominance as they found the net for a fourth time in the 93rd minute.
The Lilywhites hit the visitors on the counter-attack as Forbes and Zibaka found themselves in acres of space in behind an exposed Morecambe defence.
Forbes laid the ball across for Zibaka to comfortably slot in Preston’s fourth as Graham Aleander’s side rounded off an impressive performance in style.
Greenwood, an influential presence throughout the match, praised his team’s display after the match.
He said: “I thought it went well apart from the blip after half-time, the team did well today. I think we’ve got a good team and I’m confident about the rest of the season.”
Similarly to Greenwood, Youth boss Alexander was full of praise for his side.
Alexander said: “I’m very pleased with the result, I felt that we deserved the win. We played some really good football, especially in the first half.
“We were disciplined and aggressive. There was plenty of quick passing which is something we’ve practiced in training and they took that out onto the pitch today.
“We opened the door for Morecambe to come back into it by giving a really cheap goal away but the lads responded really well and looked very dangerous.”
Looking ahead to the next fixture away to Accrington Stanley, Alexander hopes that the U18s can produce similar performances in the future.
He added: “We’re looking for performances like this every single week. There’s got to be consistency and hopefully we’ll get that. It was a good win today and we need to carry it on next week. It’s a fresh week, we’ll work again on Monday and take that into the following game next Saturday.”
PNE: Steven James, David Kuba Kuba, Nick Anderton, Adam Thurston, Daniel Forbes, Ben Davies, Joe Whittweton, Ryan Croasdale, Josh Amis, Matt Greenwood, Tyler Forbes
Subs: Brandon Zibaka, Tom Quinn, Jack Ryan, Josh Brownhill, Alan Scurry.
Morecambe: Luke Pybis, Luke Selby, Kieran Britton, Will Bell, Matthew Knipe, Kieran Sloan, Edward Gate, Lewis Finney, James Riley, Simon Wearing, Liam Wainwright
Subs: Sam Houghton, Jack Cookson, Robbie Walker, Chris Suthers, Robbie Hunter.