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PNE U18s 3 Fleetwood Town U18s 3

1 October 2012

Preston North End U18s were held to a 3-3 draw by Fleetwood Town at Springfields with goals from Alan Scurry, Brandon Zibaka and Josh Brownhill all cancelled out.

“At the end of the day if people don’t take on these lessons that you get in football then it’s about success and failure, and some people will be successful and some people will be failures.”

“If I think back to Accrington a couple of weeks ago, we didn’t defend set pieces and crosses into the box, and we have worked hard to address this.

Alexander also revealed his disappointment at Preston’s defending from set pieces, he continued: “The goals that we have conceded have been a recurring theme in the games that we’ve played”

“It’s the manner in which the result came about because I thought that in the first half we played well because we kept the ball, did the things we work on day in day out, and we were deservedly one nil up, but then again we concede another goal in the first five minutes of the second half which has happened in probably four or five of the last six games.”

Speaking to PNE.Com after the match, Alexander said: “I would expect it to be the same as what every other coach and manager thinks, that in football, if you take the lead three times, you expect to win the game, but we haven’t and it’s massively disappointing.”

There was one final chance for Preston to take all the points with minutes to go as Croasdale broke down the right. The winger fired a low cross towards the six yard box which only just evaded the oncoming strikers.

But the lead lasted less than a minute as a sweet strike beat the North End keeper all ends up at his near post.

The game swung back in the home side’s favour on 70 minutes when Croasdale managed to find Brownhill unmarked in the box with a cross from the right, and the forward made no mistake with a six yard tap in. 

Linesman Kieran Johnson ruled that the ball had crossed the line despite the appeals of many Preston players.

And just two minutes later Fleetwood equalised again as a corner from Wright was dropped into his own goal by Tom Quinn.

The points could then have been sealed as Zibaka crossed from the left with Martin fumbling but no North End player was near enough to pounce.

PNE regained their lead against the run of play with half an hour left when Zibaka broke through the visitors back line and lofted the ball past the oncoming keeper into an empty net.

Barrett should then have put Town ahead just three minutes later but managed to head over the crossbar when he was unmarked in the six yard box from Richard Wright’s corner.

Fleetwood came out from the interval as the stronger side, and drew level in the 50th minute when Wainwright rose highest to head home Cairns’ free kick.

The Lilywhites were also convinced they should have been awarded a penalty going into half time, when referee Scott Henry waved away appeals at the shirt pulling of Josh Amis by James Cairns.

Ryan Croasdale’s cross from the right caused confusion in the visitor’s defence, before the ball dropped kindly to centre back Scurry, who tucked away on the half volley from six yards out.

Both sides were quick to break on the counter attack at every opportunity, but it was Preston who made the first breakthrough in the 33rd minute.

North End goalkeeper Tom Quinn then pulled off a reaction stop at the other end as Nathan Parish teed up Allen Wainwright, who was unable to find either corner of the net with his right foot effort.

The Fleetwood keeper struggled to deal with Greenwood’s deliveries all morning and was saved on his goal line by Dominic Barrett when one of the midfielder’s corners flew beyond his reach.

Starting brightly, Brownhill nearly fired the home side into an early lead when he met Matt Greenwood’s whipped free kick with a bullet header which was well tipped over by Oliver Martin.

North End produced a promising first half display, but the goals conceded disappointed boss youth team boss Graham Alexander who saw his team lead on three separate occasions.

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