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Kick off 14:00 (UK)

20 February 2024 Venue Attendance

Kick off 14:00 (UK)

3 - 0
Preston North End
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Match Reports

Match Report: Barrow 3 PNE Reserves 0

20 February 2024

Preston North End reserves were beaten 3-0 by an experienced Barrow side in the Central League on Tuesday.

Facing a side with several first team players, North End’s youngsters fell behind midway through the first half when Owen Bray broke the deadlock, and a second-half double from Whitfield wrapped up victory for the hosts.

Playing at the home of Stalybridge Celtic, Barrow fielded some seasoned EFL players, including Josh Lillis, Dom Telford, and PNE Academy product Jamie Proctor.

On a bobbly surface, Tom Wilkinson almost benefitted from a kind bounce of the ball inside the opening five minutes, however his header was caught by veteran goalkeeper Lillis. 

PNE had started brightly and looked the more likely to take the lead, and could have done so in the 13th minute after superb interchange between Felipe Rodriguez-Gentile and Max Wilson, but the latter couldn’t quite find the final connection he wanted.


It was the hosts, though, who broke the deadlock midway through the half as Ben Whitfield nodded down a cross-field ball for Bray to send beyond Li-Bau Stowell.

North End were still looking bright, without really testing Lillis, while at the other end Telford had an effort deflected narrowly wide in the 37th minute. 

Theo Mawene came on at the break in an attacking change and within three minutes PNE could have levelled. Horan firstly saw his right-footed effort tipped away from goal by Lillis, only to skipper Kitt Nelson who spotted a gap at the near post, although the ‘keeper was there again to make the save. 

Stowell made a good stop of his own a few minutes later to deny Whitfield, who had cut inside and struck a nice effort, and Horan was then thwarted from 20 yards again in the 56th minute. 


Youngster Stowell was soon being congratulated in now torrential conditions as he made a stunning save to prevent Telford finding the top corner. 

He had Jonny Brindle to thank in the 70th minute when the defender made a superb goal-line clearance to deny Proctor, but Whitfield found Barrow’s second four minutes later when a flick-on sent him through on goal. 

Ethan Eccleston almost responded in unbelievable fashion with ten minutes left on the clock as he sent a stunning effort towards the top corner, only for the woodwork to keep him out. 

Despite PNE putting in a good account of themselves, the scoreline read 3-0 at full-time as Whitfield scored his second in the final minute, after meeting Robbie Gotts’ cross from the left. 

PNE line-up: Stowell; Brindle, Wilkinson, McGhee (T.Mawene, 45); Garrigan, Horan, Kamara, Eccleston; Wilson (Carroll, 88), Nelson (Goldsmith, 74); Rodriguez-Gentile (Gairns, 87). Subs not used: Stringfellow. 

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