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Kick off 12:00 (UK)

16 March 2021 Venue Unavailable Attendance

Kick off 12:00 (UK)

Tranmere Rovers U18
0 - 5
Preston North End U18
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Match Reports

Tranmere Rovers U18 0 PNE U18 5

16 March 2021

Joe Rodwell-Grant scored an incredible four times as the youth team eased past Tranmere Rovers on the Wirral.

Jacob Holland-Wilkinson was also on target in an emphatic 5-0 win for the young Lilywhites.

The five-star showing made it three wins on the bounce for Nick Harrison's side, who have now surpassed 50 league goals for the season in the EFL North West Youth Alliance League.

Holland-Wilkinson was one of two changes to the side that overcame Port Vale at the weekend, he and Joe Blanchard replacing Teddy Mfuni and Harry Huddart in the line-up, as a reshuffle saw Ben Dooley drop into the defence.

The deadlock was broken in the first half when Vaughn Green brilliantly chipped the ball over the Tranmere backline to pick out Rodwell-Grant, whose chest control was equally impressive to bring it down before slotting calmly beyond the onrushing goalkeeper.

Mikey O’Neil and Green combined well in a tight space to retain the ball high up the pitch, before two quick passes from Aaron Bennet and Lewis Leigh saw the play switched to Kyi Nicholson on the right. He crossed from deep to the far post, where Jacob Holland-Wilkinson doubled the lead with a superb diving header.

The Lilywhites continued in the same ruthless vein in the second half when Bennett was rewarded for his pressure on the hosts' goalkeeper; his clearance falling short and Lewis Leigh heading it back towards the box. A Tranmere defender tried to shepherd it back to his No.1, but Rodwell-Grant capitalised on a misunderstanding between the two and finished into an empty net for the third.

The forward then completed his hat-trick in befitting fashion, turning away from a defender on the edge of the box after a clever pass forward from Leigh, and curling into the bottom left corner, left-footed, from 20 yards out.

North End’s work for the afternoon was rounded off when Bennett looked to play the ball in behind for substitute Lewis Coulton and he was brought down by the goalkeeper to see the Lilywhites awarded a penalty.

Rodwell-Grant stepped up and while the ‘keeper guessed correctly, his effort was struck with conviction and nestled nicely into that same bottom left corner.

The youth team will continue on their travels for the remainder of the month, with a trip to Shrewsbury Town coming up this weekend, and further away days pencilled in at Salford City and Carlisle United before the month is out.

PNE U18 line-up: Lombard; Nicholson, Dooley, Blanchard, Lewis; Leigh, O'Neil; Green, Bennett, Holland-Wilkinson (Coulton, 75); Rodwell-Grant.

Subs not used: Duggan, Mfuni, Amaral.

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