A brave PNE Academy side bowed out of the FA Youth Cup after extra-time as Norwich City came from behind to win 6-1 at Deepdale.
North End took the lead on 12 minutes Ryan brilliantly chesting the ball down before lobbing the Norwich keeper, but the visitors were level within four minutes; dangerous frontman Carlton Morris, flicking home a corner from close range, which remained the scoreline until the added half hour.
But a four-goal blitz from the Canaries in the opening 11 minutes of the extra period saw them through to the fourth round of the competition they won last season.
They took the lead in the second minute of extra-time, Harrison Heath poking home and two minute’s later Rhys Browne headed home from close range. The tie was then over on 97 minutes as Jamie Eaton-Collins fired in at the back post. Carlton Morris grabbed his second and Norwich’ fifth with a close range flick to add an unfairness to the scoreline that the hard work of the Lilywhites did not deserve. Norwich substitute Ray Grant scored from 25 yards with five minutes left to make it 6-1 and finish the scoring for the FA Youth Cup holders.
It was another high tempo game, as the first two rounds had been, but much more even in terms of possession and chances; both sides having real threats in the opposition’s final third.
It was the Canaries who tested out a goalkeeper first, Ross Dalton – a spectator for much of the first two rounds – needing to be in good form to deny Lewis Byrne-Hewitt on six minutes; Josh Sampson calmly passing the ball away after the PNE No.1 had blocked well.
North End came to life after ten minutes, Jack Ryan moved down the left hand side before expertly pulling the ball back to Joe Whittington; the ball deflected into the path of 15-year-old Adam Robinson, who with the goal open, fired wide of the right hand post.
The Lilywhites went ahead on 12 minutes. A direct ball from left back Nick Anderton found Ryan, who pulled off his marker, pulled the ball down with his chest and lifted the ball over an advancing Ben Killip in the Norwich goal and into the empty net.
The lead only lasted four minutes. Visiting skipper Cameron Norman fired over a left wing corner which was flicked cleverly at the front of the six yard box by Carlton Morris, who guided the ball into top right hand corner.
Nick Harrison and Andy Fensome’s men did not go into their shells at being pegged back to level terms and another long ball from Anderton over the top saw Ryan this time compete 50/50 with Killip and once again the ball ricocheted to young Adam Robinson. He had a chance to shoot first time, but took a touch and this allowed the Norwich defender time to recover.
On 25 minutes Jack Ryan had the ball in net again, but this time the flag was up for offisde, however, it was another great header from Whittington’s cross.
The visitors were still dangerous and just after the half hour mark Byrne-Hewitt fired wide when one-on-one with Dalton after scorer Morris did well, dropped deep, picked the ball up and managed to get a shot away that ricocheted into the path of the Canaries No.10.
Adam Robinson was replaced by Sam Livesey at half-time, the schoolboy picking up a knock in a physical first period,
The second half started as a much more-cagey affair, but Norwich were dangerous on the counter and North End needed a terrific save from Dalton on 73 minutes to deny pacey wing man Jamie Eaton-Collins, who had counter-attacked quickly down the left from a period of PNE pressure.
Jack Ryan continued to be a thorn in the Norwich side; holding up the ball cleverly and bringing his team-mates into the game, as well as always being a threat in the air from the balls into the box the Lilywhites were trying to deliver.
However, neither team could get a goal in normal time and extra-time was needed.
Within 90 seconds of the extra 30 minutes getting under way Norwich took the lead for the first time and it was substitute Harrison Heath, son of Adrian, who scored it, poking home from close range after a pacey run and cross down the right by Eaton-Collins.
The Canaries then made it 3-1 as Rhys Browne headed home from close range after a cross from Carlton Morris.
The visitors blistering start to extra-time continued with a third goal in seven minutes as the scorer of the third, Browne, set up Jamie Eaton-Collins, his left wing cross finding his opposite wing man at the back post, who fired a powerful effort back into the top left hand corner.
North End’s youngster didn’t give up and Killip made a fine save to tip Tyler Forbes’ 25 yard drive round the post as the game reached the 100 minute mark.
However, it was five for Norwich a minute later, another clever flick from Carlton Morris, eight yards out to divert Cameron Norman’s right wing cross past Dalton and into the bottom right hand corner.
James Boyd saw a shot saved by the legs of Killip in the fourth minute of the second period of extra-time, with PNE continuing to give everything right to the end.
However, Ray Grant made it six with a left-footed volley from 25 yards with five minutes left to give a completely unfair scoreline that in no way reflected the team's performance,
: Dalton, Gray, Anderton, Scott, Sampson (Magolis, 102), Roscoe, Robinson (Livesey, 46), Holmes, Ryan, Forbes, Whittington (Boyd, 77). Subs not used: Hudson, Hagon.PNE line-up
: Killip, Norman, Scales, Hodd, Wyatt, Lokko, Eaton-Collins, Randall (Efete, 112), Morris (Grant, 105), Byrne-Hewitt (Heath, 59), Browne. Subs not used: Oxborough, Burgess.Norwich City line-up
: Mr P MahonReferee