PNE U18s began their pre-season campaign with a solid 3-0 win against Tranmere Rovers on Saturday at the UCLAN Sports Arena.
Goals from Jack Ryan, Lyle Magolis and Sam Livesey saw Preston achieve a positive start to their 2013/14 campaign.
The game began brightly with both sides giving it their all in the early stages. Tranmere's Jake Phillips impressed for the Merseyside Club and had the opening chance on 11 minutes which sailed over the bar.
Moments later, Preston struck first with a good finish from forward Jack Ryan, after a neat one two with captain Josh Brownhill.
Just before the half hour mark, Bradley Wicks came on for Shaun Holmes after the midfielder caught a ball to the face and required treatment.
Tranmere threatened despite Preston's 1-0 lead, Leo Riley striking from distance. However, Preston looked the ones most in control of the match knocking the ball about in midfield confidently.
The Lilywhite's took a slender 1-0 lead into the break, as the first half ended in the sunshine with Brownhill impressing during the first 45 minutes.
The second half began with George Gray taking up the captaincy for Preston, in a game of many changes in personnel.
The game was much of the same at the start of the second half with Preston looking in control of the match, despite little goalmouth action.
A corner from the left hand side saw the ball sting the hands of Tranmere goalkeeper Reece Airey but the Tranmere defence coped well and dealt with the danger sufficiently.
Preston struck again in the 65th minute with Tom Bunclarke playing Lyle Magolis in for the Lilywhite's second goal of the afternoon, which he placed precisely in the left hand corner of the goal.
Shortly after, the third goal came when Reece Airey, in the Tranmere goal, came out in an attempt to deal with the danger from the Preston forward line, Sam Livesey went around him and slotted past the goalkeeper into the net.
In the latter stages of the game, Preston continued to have the upper hand in the match with an assured display.
Tranmere were awarded a free kick just outside of the area which Preston goalkeeper Ross Dalton dealt with easily diving to his left side.
Lyle Magolis had a chance to double his goal tally for the afternoon when a long ball came down to him, which the Tranmere defence cleared.
Overall, a good solid win for Preston and plenty for the manager to be happy with looking ahead to the match against Fleetwood Town next Saturday.
Coach Andy Fensome said post match: “It's always good to get a game under our belts.”
“Big, big pitch but to get three goals and win the game is great.”
This season will see plenty of U16 players make the step up to U18 level and Andy is looking forward to the new players joining the fold.
“A lot of them have played together, coming up together from the U16s so they've been with each other for three or four years at least,” he added.
“The second years know the first years because of coming in last year and training with the boys.”
He said, about the result: “It's good to see at the end of a hard week and it is hard for some of them, living away from home for the first time, that they've got a result it's a morale booster.”
Josh Brownhill said, of his own performance: “I felt quite fit as it is but getting the 45 minutes under my belt made me feel even fitter.”
Before adding: “The first week back has been alright, it's not been too hard but fair, I'm aching a bit but that's normal.”
Brownhill, who is one of the second year scholars for this season, and has been made captain for the upcoming campaign, said: “Looking at that and winning 3-0 I'm very excited for the season and it's only been our first week back and our first game.
“I'm looking forward to the season ahead, I think we can go far by maybe winning the league, going far in the FA Youth Cup and winning a cup.”