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Kick off 19:00 (UK)

18 January 2023 Venue TBC Attendance

Kick off 19:00 (UK)

Gillingham U18
1 - 2
Preston North End U18
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Match Previews

Match Preview: Gillingham U18 (A), FA Youth Cup Fourth Round

17 January 2023

Preston North End U18s head to Gillingham on Wednesday evening, looking to earn a place in the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup.

North End will take on the Gills at their first team home, Priestfield, on Wednesday 18th January, with kick-off at 7pm.

Fans are able to attend the fixture, with tickets priced at £7 for adults, £5 for concessions and those aged 18 to 21, while U18s and season ticket holders will go free.

PNE will be hoping for more of the same from the third round, when they put on a show at Deepdale against Rotherham United.

The young Lilywhites came out 6-1 winners on a bitterly-cold afternoon, with Felipe Rodriguez-Gentile making headlines by netting an incredible five goals.

At 16 years of age, he’ll be hoping to gain more experience by featuring against Gillingham, while Kian Taylor – a lifelong PNE fan – will also be very keen to feature, after serving his suspension following a red card.

As this is an U18 fixture, the likes of Aaron Bennett and Harry Nevin will be unavailable for selection. However, young professionals still in their scholarships are eligible to feature, such as Finlay Cross-Adair, Jacob Slater and Noah Mawene – should they not be with the first team.

For Gillingham, they secured their place in the fourth round with a 2-0 victory over Wigan Athletic, and they currently sit fourth in the Youth Alliance South East Conference.

They boast one of the division’s best attacks, having scored 27 goals in their 13 matches, but they have also conceded 26.

Awaiting the winner of this tie is an away game against either Luton Town or Queens Park Rangers, with those sides set to also go head to head on Wednesday evening.

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Match Reports

Match Report: Gillingham U18 1 PNE U18 2

18 January 2023

Preston North End U18s secured a place in the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup thanks to a 2-1 comeback victory over Gillingham.

The hosts took the lead inside the opening minute through Ronnie Sithole, but a leveller from Felipe Rodriguez-Gentile sent the sides into the break level.

Home skipper Alex Giles saw red with ten minutes to go and North End made their advantage count on 86 minutes, when Kian Best struck a fantastic free-kick to set up a fifth round tie against Luton Town.

PNE named a strong team, with the likes of Finlay Cross-Adair and Kaedyn Kamara – who both featured in the senior version of the competition earlier in the month – named in the starting XI. 

The game got off to a bad start, though, as the hosts took the lead as the clock hit 60 seconds thanks to a superb strike from Sithole, which flew above the head of James Pradic in goal. 

PNE settled from that point and had the next few opportunities of the tie. Firstly, Noah Mawene sent a low strike just inches wide, before Jacob Slater tested Taite Holtam in goal, who was up to the task. 

There was nothing Holtam could do, however, on 22 minutes when Rodriguez-Gentile – following on from his five goals in the previous round – wonderfully lobbed the ‘keeper, after being found by Cross-Adair. 

Cross-Adair then nearly got on the scoresheet himself less than ten minutes later after being cleverly found by Kitt Nelson, but his strike went across the face of goal and just wide. 

There was soon to be a lengthy stoppage, as Gillingham man Elliott Moore received treatment following a strong but fair challenge from Kian Best, and the youngster left the field on a stretcher with everyone’s best wishes. 

The action was lively from the off in the second half, and PNE felt they could have had a penalty on 58 minutes when the ball appeared to strike an arm inside the area, but nothing was given. 

At the other end, there were shouts for a red card as James Pradic brought down Joe Gbode as he broke through on goal, however the referee opted for a yellow. 

That was to prove important for PNE, too, as the Wales youth international came up with a superb double save just minutes later to deny Sithole and then Matt MacArthur. 

On 65 minutes, Cross-Adair came close for North End, breaking through on goal and sending a powerful effort towards Holtam, who managed to make the save. 

With ten to go, the hosts lost their captain as central defender Giles was shown a second yellow, and PNE soon made their advantage count. 

Best stood over a free-kick on 86 minutes, before sending it over the wall and superbly finding the bottom corner, cuing huge celebrations on the pitch and on the touchline. 

North End managed the game superbly from that point to seal victory and set up a fifth round tie away to Luton Town, with a date for that fixture to be confirmed in due course.

PNE U18 line-up: Pradic; Wallbank, Taylor, Best; Seary (Eccleston, 90+5), Kamara, Mawene, Nelson, Slater; Cross-Adair, Rodriguez-Gentile. Subs not used: Davis, McGhee, Wilson, Horan, Pemberton, Havard.

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