A second half double from Preston captain Josh Brownhill saw PNE's U18s beat Rochdale 2-0 at Moor Lane.
It was a fast paced start to the match with both sides eager to get on the ball. Rochdale have had an excellent start to the season winning all their matches so far, a good test for Preston's youngsters this early in the League campaign.
Jack Ryan was involved in the opening stages, unnerving the Rochdale defence and giving them something to think about.
Preston looked strong defensively, dealing with any Rochdale threat. Josh Sampson put in an assured performance alongside Bradley Roscoe in central defence.
A red card was shown to Rochdale goalkeeper Aaron Ashley, who handled outside the area in the 18th minute.
The home side had no substitute goalkeeper, so outfield player Danny Whitehall found himself between the Dale sticks. Brownhill took the resulting free kick which Whitehall saved well, to his credit.
Tyler Forbes had the best chance of the half for Preston with a looping effort – which some of those in attendance thought had gone in.
Jordan Scott, alongside the excellent Josh Brownhill, was always on the ball, looking to make chances for his teammates. The central midfielder was a highly effective creative force for the youngsters.
Just before half time, Joe Whittington jumped up with the goalkeeper and the Preston winger looked hurt for a moment, but quickly returned to play without needing treatment.
Preston started brightly in the second half. It wasn't long until their encouraging play paid dividend, when Brownhill got forward and slipped the ball past Whitehall, to continue his fantastic goalscoring record in the opening games of the season.
Connor Martin shot over the bar for Rochdale as the Preston defence continued to impress and remain solid against ten-man Dale.
Preston bagged their second goal when Brownhill shot from long distance and the ball went over Whitehall and in. That strike means the North End captain has netted eight goals in five games for the Youth side.
Late on, Josh Sampson got his head on the ball from a corner but it was saved by the goalkeeper.
Lyle Magolis, Bradley Wicks and James Quigley were introduced for the Lilywhites late on, and North End were able to see out the game with ease, making it three victories from five games.
The Youth go into their match against Wigan on Saturday looking strong and organised.
Manager Nick Harrison said after the win: “In terms of performances it was a different game for our boys today as they played against ten men for a large period of the game and in my view it was a good experience for them.”
Of Josh Brownhill's outstanding performance he said: “I think he's a good player. Josh needs other players around him. Although he's scored the goals the other boys are working hard to get him on the ball and working hard to create space so Josh gets on the ball.
“We want him to keep going, develop and become even better. He's scored two great goals.”
Preston North End: Dalton, Gray (Quigley), Anderton, Scott, Sampson, Roscoe, Whittington, Holmes (Wicks), Ryan, Brownhill, Forbes (Magolis)
Subs: Quigley, Wicks, Hagon, Magolis
Rochdale: Ashley, Antoine-Clarke, Akinwale, Rid,Sinclair, Horan, Martin, Cannon, Whitehall, Bill, Tuanzebe
Subs: Cregg, Hancox, Hooper, Thompson.
Red card: Aaron Ashley