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Kick off 12:30 (UK)

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23 March 2024 Venue Unavailable Attendance

Kick off 12:30 (UK)

Preston North End U18
1 - 0
Grimsby Town U18
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Match Previews

Match Preview: Grimsby Town (H), Youth Alliance Cup

21 March 2024

Preston North End U18s will look to progress to the national final of the Youth Alliance Cup this weekend as they take on Grimsby Town.

The young Lilywhites will meet the Mariners at Springfields for an 11.30am kick-off on Saturday 23rd March in the northern final of the competition.

Whoever comes out on top on the day will set up a final against Portsmouth, with the venue to be confirmed, and that fixture is set to take place on Wednesday 24th April.

Supporters are welcome to attend free of charge, however there is no parking available on-site. Cars can be parked at the rear of the Pig & Whistle pub, which is located just a short distance from Springfields (PR2 1XR).

North End have happy recent memories in this competition, having lifted the trophy at Kenilworth Road two years ago to seal a league and cup double, which could still be on the cards this term.

After topping the group this campaign, the U18s went on to beat Rotherham United 6-0 and then won narrowly against Hartlepool United to set up a northern final.

In Grimsby Town, PNE are taking on a side currently sat fourth in their division and they are still in with a chance of taking the league title.

The Mariners have beaten Shrewsbury Town and Mansfield Town on their route to the northern final.

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Match Reports

Match Report: PNE U18s 1 Grimsby Town U18s 0

25 March 2024

Preston North End U18s scored a last-gasp winner against Grimsby Town to come out on top in the Youth Alliance Cup northern final.

A stoppage-time strike from Troy Tarry secured the Lilywhites’ spot in the Youth Alliance Cup national final against Portsmouth, which will take place in April.

Despite the game being competitive, few chances were created in the first half. However, the fourth minute saw multiple shots on target for PNE, after a great run forward from Tom Wilkinson set Ethan Eccleston up for a cross into the box. 

Tommy Davis made various vital saves for North End, and as Grimsby looked hungrier for a goal, the defence comfortably denied any threat.

Coming out after half-time, PNE pushed forward with momentum, and Max Wilson’s shot in the 52nd minute forced a save from the ‘keeper.

Then, just after the hour mark, a free-kick taken by Jonny Brindle forced Grimsby Town’s No.1 to punch the ball out, falling to Felipe Rodriguez-Gentile whose volley bounced just over the crossbar. 

Kaedyn Kamara tried his luck next, turning and shooting on the edge of the box, only for the ball to float just over the top right corner of goal. 

The Mariners thought they’d found an opener in the 74th minute after a free-kick was awarded on the edge of the box, but Davis’ sublime save to his right pushed the ball away and out of play.

As time ticked on and the idea of penalties loomed closer, a late substitution in the shape of Tarry got on the end of a low cross from Theo Mawene and tapped home in the last minute of added-time.

Delight for home fans and players, the full-time whistle blew shortly after and Preston North End were victorious on home turf.

Coach John Welsh said: “I think in any cup final, penalties are a lottery and it’s probably unfair on the players to go through that because it is difficult, but we kept going until the end of the game and got the win in the end.

“In the grand context of everything it’s a cup final, so young players are really emotional and scared of making a mistake at times so they’re a little bit hesitant.

“We had an idea that they were going to come and be aggressive and try and win the ball back aggressively. We just tried to make it so that the players won the battle, and I think we did that.

“We kept going, we stayed in the game and had a little bit of luck. We had to count on individuals doing well at times. To be fair to the lads, they kept going and got the win in the end.”

Goalscorer Tarry spoke too of his performance in the game and about getting the winning goal. 

Troy said: “I’m buzzing. I’m not going to lie I didn’t think it was going to come across but when it came across and went in I was dead happy. I celebrated with all the boys and we move onto the next game.

“I came on, I was warming up for quite a bit and came on and tried to do my best for the team.

“I made a couple of mistakes but got a goal in the end which was a good feeling.”

PNE U18s line-up: Davis, Blake (Garrigan, 88), Brindle, Horan, Wilkinson, McGhee, Eccleston (Tarry, 83), Kamara (Ifezue, 83), Rodriguez-Gentile, T.Mawene, Wilson. Subs not used: Stowell, Critchley.

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