Preston North End’s U18s progressed comfortably to the next stage of the Lancashire FA Youth Cup with a 2-0 win over Morecambe.
Goals from Sean Holmes and stand in captain Tyler Forbes ensured North End came through the round unscathed.
Holmes set Preston on their way with a simple finish after great work from full back Nick Anderton before Forbes tied up the game with a low, powerful shot that snuck underneath Morecambe keeper Will Kitchen.
The cup tie was the youngsters’ second fixture in three days and they were determined to get back to winning ways following Saturday’s disappointing defeat to Wrexham.
But it was Morecambe who began the quicker of the two sides and were unlucky not to be ahead early on.
Danny Green with Morecambe’s first real opening.
The visitors forward Tom Woods teed up Green who had plenty of time but curled his effort high over Ross Dalton’s goal.
It was Woods who was caught up in the action once again and, but for the heroics of Forbes, would have put his team in front.
The ball ricocheted off a couple of North End defenders before falling to Woods who was thwarted by a superb last minute tackle by Forbes.
The Shrimps’ resulting corner then saw the best opportunity of the game for Morecambe.
The ball dropped perfectly for Adam Reynolds inside the six yard box but he somehow volleyed wide with the goal beckoning.
Preston rallied and fought back into the game with Forbes at the centre of the action.
The stand in skipper’s cross almost helped break the deadlock in the 20th minute but forward Jack Ryan couldn’t keep his header down.
The chance sparked a spell of dominance for the young Lilywhites.
Morecambe shot stopper, Kitchen, was in inspired form all afternoon and produced some excellent stops.
Forbes was the first to provide Kitchen with his first real test.
A loose ball fell kindly for the midfielder who hit a looping volley goalwards only for Kitchen to back pedal and tip the ball on to the bar and over.
Joe Whittington was next to carve out a North End opportunity.
The winger raced on to Ryan’s delicate through ball and hit a powerful effort at Kitchen’s near post which the Morecambe keeper saved well.
Whittington was denied again moments later.
He cut in onto his left foot but hit his shot straight at Kitchen who saved with his feet.
The Shrimps’ man between the posts was powerless to stop North End opening the scoring however.
Nick Anderton produced one of his trademark bursts from deep and sent a low cross along the six yard box which found Sean Holmes who applied an easy finish.
It was clear the goal had given Preston confidence and they nearly doubled their lead a couple of minutes later.
Lyle Magolis raced away from the Morecambe backline but Kitchen was once again quick to produce a smart stop.
Two minutes before the interval, Forbes struck to give his side a comfortable advantage going into half-time.
He collected the ball out wide before twisting and turning and shooting low underneath Kitchen to double Preston’s lead.
Not long after the break, Ryan nearly bundled the ball into the net following some good wide play by Whittington.
Morecambe failed to really threaten the North End goal in the second period and their one good chance came through Danny Dunleavy.
The Morecambe forward held off the challenges of James Quigley but his poke towards goal was comfortably collected by Dalton.
Forbes almost found himself on the scoresheet again on the hour mark.
His free kick dipped and swerved, only for Kitchen to produce another fine save.
North End had a couple of chances to wrap the game up with Ryan unfortunate not to find the net on more than one occasion.
The frontman’s shot just shaved the post after a poor defensive pass, before then having another effort cleared off the line.
Magolis and Whittington also went close, both having efforts which were stopped by the Morecambe keeper.
But it was Preston who ran out comfortable victors and progressed through to the next round of the Lancashire FA Youth Cup.
Academy manager Nick Harrison was happy to see his team bounce back so quickly after Saturday’s defeat.
He said: “It’s just great to play games and that’s what the lad’s want to do.
“It was great to bounce back after Saturday’s game.”
Harrison was pleased to rotate his squad after a busy few days saying: “We had a few tired legs and made a few changes.
“We always had it in mind to change the team because that’s what it’s all about, it’s development.”
Harrison also highlighted the contribution of North End’s defence after a solid performance and cleansheet: “That is really pleasing to get a cleansheet but above all we’ve won the game.”
Tyler Forbes capped a great afternoon for himself.
Forbes captained his side to victory and managed to grab a goal with a well struck low effort.
The midfielder said: “Yeah it was a good feeling to get a goal and the team played well.”
Forbes, like his manager, was pleased to get back on track so quick, saying: “It was important to bounce back and it was important to show what we’re made of as a team.”
PNE startling XI: Dalton, Quigley (Gray), Roscoe, Hagon, Anderton, Holmes, Wicks, Forbes (C), Magolis (Livesey), Ryan, Whittington.
PNE subs not used: Sampson, Scott.
Booked – Anderton.
Morecambe starting XI: Kitchen, McGowan (C), Hilton, Reynolds, Dowling, Newton (Bailey), Dunleavy, Colebourn (Muscart), Woods (Preston), Naylor, Green.
Morecambe subs: Roberts, Towers.
Booked – Reynolds.