Preston North End U19s were replaced at the top of the table by Morecambe as the Shrimps left Springfields with a 6-3 victory.
The Lilywhites got off to a flying start when Max Wilson broke the deadlock just three minutes in before Theo Mawene then doubled the score, but the visitors managed to pull one back before half-time.
Morecambe then took the game away from North End in the second half, scoring five goals to take their tally to six, despite a consolation from Felipe Rodriguez-Gentile.
The game started well for PNE, with the Lilywhites netting early on thanks to a third-minute goal from Wilson, who slotted the ball into the bottom left after breaking through the defence.
Just ten minutes later North End doubled their lead courtesy of Mawene’s chip over goalkeeper Max Pedley, following a pinpoint cross by Izac Khan.
As the tempo increased so did chances for both sides, and a period of quiet for 20 minutes was interrupted by Morecambe in the 33rd minute as Nathan Mercer found the bottom right corner with a shot from the edge of the box.
Four minutes into the second half, Mawene had a chance to increase the lead, but his effort from the left went just wide of the goalmouth.
But PNE were soon on the back foot, as a rampant Morecambe equalised in the 53rd minute through Saul Fox-Akande and then took the lead via Matthew Williams’ tap-in just shy of the hour mark.
Fox-Akande soon scored his second of the day in the 66th minute, before Williams then added to his tally 13 minutes later.
Rodriguez-Gentile gave PNE a little bit of hope a few minutes later as he pulled a goal back from the penalty spot, but there was to be no route back into the game as Fox-Akande completed his hat-trick with three minutes left on the clock to send his unbeaten side to the top of the table.
After the game, coach Andy Fensome praised the lads, but spoke of the importance of them digging into future games in order to win.
Fenners said: “We started the game really, really well. We understood what we were looking to do from training this week and the match prep and the team talk.
“We just started doing our own things at times. I asked them to play around the outside and create and they did, and then they started coming inside which was their (Morecambe’s) strength and ultimately they picked our pocket from it.
“We believe in what we do and when we do that we’re good at it.
“We have to keep believing that and they’ve got to understand that football sometimes is not all nicey nicey. Sometimes it’s about rolling your sleeves up and digging in and putting your foot in.”
The Lilywhites now look ahead to their next fixture on Saturday 28th October, where they face Wrexham at Springfields.
PNE line-up: Davis, McGhee (Carroll, 63), Khan, Kamara, Wilkinson, Brindle, Garrigan, Horan (Critchley, 63), Rodriguez-Gentile, T.Mawene (Goldsmith, 80), Wilson (Havard, 22 (Stringfellow, 80)).