PNE U18s suffered a 3-0 defeat to Bury at Victory Park on Saturday.
Both teams started brightly with half chances at either end. A free kick from the right side saw Bury nearly take the lead in the opening few minutes but the ball went wide.
Preston winger Joe Whittington was the first Lilywhites player to get on the ball and cause the Bury defence a problem. Getting down the wing, Whittington tried to get a cross into the box, which saw the ball shoot straight at Bury goalkeeper Connor Keane.
One of the best first half chances for Preston came from an in swinging corner by captain Josh Brownhill. After the ball was headed on, Bury's Keane prevented a Preston opener with a smart fingertip save.
Preston withstood pressure from an impressive Bury side, particularly the forward line, who created some impressive attacking play. Winger Navid Nasseri was the catalyst of the Bury attack with quickness and trickery on the ball.
Bury's pressure paid off on 35 minutes when Anthony Dudley slotted past Preston goalkeeper Steven James. Moments later, Bury came at Preston again but James palmed the ball away from danger.
Preston tried to get back into the match by getting the ball out onto wings to danger-men Tyler Forbes and Joe Whittington. This nearly proved fruitful when Forbes went on a good run down the right.
The ball flew past Keane's goal, though Whittington attempted to keep the chance alive and earned a corner for his efforts, which eventually came to nothing.
Nasseri continued to impress for the away side and shot from just outside the area but it rocketed wide of the post.
At the end of the first half, Jack Ryan had a good shot on goal which stung the palms of Bury goalkeeper Keane.
The start of the second half saw Josh Sampson, Sam Livesey and Lyle Magolis enter the fray for North End.
Good work by Brownhill down the left saw a good chance fall to Ryan again, who blazed over the bar.
Bury continued where they had left off in the first half with good attacking football. Regan Walker doubled Bury's lead with a neatly placed finish leaving the Preston goalkeeper no chance.
Preston had a decent chance to get back into the match through Ryan, on the turn, after some good play, but the ball went over.
Walker scored his second goal of the afternoon, slotting past James with a cool finish, making it 3-0 to Bury.
While the Shakers continued to dominate the match, Preston earned a corner which the goalkeeper caught, despite a goalmouth scramble.
The chances kept coming for Bury, however, and from a corner, which Preston initially cleared, the resulting shot rattled the crossbar, nearly making it 4-0 in the latter stages of the match.
Preston's best chances of getting a goal in the match looked like being from set pieces. Late on, a free kick, which tried to find the head of Magolis, went straight through everyone and out.
Of the result, youth team manager Nick Harrison said: “We learnt we need to work on quite a lot, we already knew that but I think that the game just highlighted that.
“I thought Bury caused a lot of problems for us, especially in their final third, it gives us a lot to work with and gives the players a lot to aim for,” he added.
Sean Holmes said, of his own performance: “It was a tough pre-season workout, I was blowing after 60 minutes so that's why I had to come off.”
He added: “The movement in midfield [from Manchester United last Tuesday] was impressive and I think that's what we tried to do today but it didn't quite work out.”