North End’s youth team set up a home tie with holders Norwich City after comfortably overcoming York City in the second round of the FA Youth Cup at Deepdale.
The U18 Academy triumphed 5-0 on a wet night in PR1, with Jack Ryan, Joe Whittington and Sean Holmes on the score sheet.
Ryan converted Whittington’s cross from close range to get things going on 18 minutes before the winger converted after the Minstermen failed to clear a corner and then Holmes fired home after Whittington again had powered in a shot that visiting stooper Josh Archer had found too hot to hold – all before the interval.
The second half started in the same fashion with Nick Anderton scoring the goal of the game – a solo effort after running from half way - before Jack Ryan grabbed his second and PNE's fifth and final goal of the night with an excellent finish from Tyler Forbes' pass on 80 minutes.
Like the first round, the heavens opened shortly before kick-off, slickening up the lush Deepdale surface and Nick Harrison and Andy Fensome’s men used the conditions to their full advantage, zipping the ball around.
As early as the ninth minute, some great powerful play by skipper Tyler Forbes created a chance for himself, battling his way through three York players until good block by Dan Andrew denied the opener.
Shortly after the first PNE corner was won by 15-year-old Adam Robinson; the only change from the first round – replacing Sam Livesey on the right side of three behind lone frontman Jack Ryan. The corner, taken by Forbes, came out to Sean Holmes on the edge of box, who hit a great low shot, but an equally excellent block by Niall Tilsley prevented a goal.
However on 18 minutes nothing could be done to prevent the opener. The move started with goalkeeper Ross Dalton who didn’t rush anything and dinked a 40 yard ball into Holmes in the centre circle, he turned and played the ball out to Whittington. The winger beat his man before delivering a perfect cross to the back post where Ryan out-jumped his centre half and nodded in from close range.
It was 2-0 just after the half hour mark. Another corner to PNE came in from Tyler Forbes after Archer tipped Holmes’ deflected shot round the post. The first cross by the No.10 came back out to Forbes and was headed goalwards by centre half Josh Sampson at the back post. It came back out to Joe Whittington; his shot brilliantly saved on the line by centre half Dan Andrew, but it still went in, the linesman signalling the ball had crossed the line, with Andrew lucky not to get red card for his handling skills!
The first real chance for York came four minutes after the goal, Adam Morley turned and shot six yards from goal; he had the whole of the goal to aim at, swivelled but scuffed his shot straight into the hands of a relieved Ross Dalton – a lucky escape!
North End put the game out of reach three minutes before the interval. This time Sean Holmes slid home after Whittington cut in from the left and fired a low shot that Archer could only palm the ball out to Holmes, who, running on from midfield, calmly fired low into the empty net.
The onslaught continued after the interval. Nick Anderton picked up the ball in the left back position on the half way line and proceeded to drive his way at the heart of the Yorkshiremen’s defence and as he reached the box he fired a left footed effort that Archer could only palm into the bottom left hand corner of the goal.
Anderton and George Gray from full back were both dangerous when in the final third of the opposition and just after the hour mark the young Northern Irish youth international at right back combined well with Adam Robinson before delivering a high and deep cross that saw Jack Ryan out-jump Archer, but his downward header bounced just wide of the left hand post.
Joe Whittington, shortly before his night ended, at the mid-point of the second half, forced Archer into another fine save, a driving run in from the left hand side before cutting onto his right and firing a low shot towards the bottom right hand corner until the keeper – at full stretch – palmed wide.
North End almost overplayed themselves into conceding a needless consolation on 73 minutes and but for two good saves by Ross Dalton, firstly from Wilson from the edge of the box after Roscoe and Anderton had lost the ball in the right hand corner; and then from Morley’s header from the resulting corner, meant it remained 4-0.
Greenop, Whittington’s replacement, should have made it five moments later after Jack Robinson and Jaqck Ryan had caused havoc in the York box, but he went with his right foot at an open goal when the left was probably a better option; the ball ending up in the empty Town End.
But it was five with ten minutes left. York had won a corner, but as it came out Nick Anderton won a tackle that allowed Tyler Forbes to pick up the ball and drive into the middle of the York half; the PNE skipper threaded it through to Jack Ryan who picked up the ball free in a right hand channel, took one touch, looked up, and fired hard and low across the keeper into the bottom left hand corner.
Ross Dalton was again needed with six minutes left; a super save to turn Tilsley's low effort round the post, before punching clear after the same York man had clipped an effort from the corner onto the cross bar; the visitors showing great spirit to not give up, despite the deficit, but in the end North End progressed through to face the Canaries.
: Dalton, Gray, Anderton, Scott (Wicks, 57), Sampson, Roscoe, Robinson (Livesey, 79), Holmes, Ryan, Forbes, Whittington (Greenop, 68). Subs not used: Hagon, Martin.PNE line-up
: Archer, Tilsley, Green (Bowkett, 52), Banks (Wilson, 70), Andrew, Morley, Rzonca (Hardy, 47), Coates, Smith, Chamberlain, Outerbridge. Subs not used: Wright, Collis.York City line-up
: Mr M HanleyReferee