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PNE U18s 3 Port Vale U18s 0

10 August 2014

North End’s U18s made it two wins from two in the league after recording a 3-0 win over Port Vale in the Football League Youth Alliance.

An own goal, a spot kick from Luke Pritchard and a late effort from Josh Sampson saw Nick Harrison’s side ease to victory over their Staffordshire opponents who were more than worth their three goal margin.

Nick Harrison chose a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Clive Smith and Sean Whelan occupying the full backs with Josh Sampson and Bradley Roscoe at centre half.

Adam J Robinson and Bradley Wicks played in front of the back four behind a front trio of Luke Pritchard, James Boyd and Ben Roberts with work experience forward Eddie-Louis Dsane up top.

Robinson and Wicks' defensive capabilities meant Smith and Whelan were allowed to burst forward when needed, which became apparent from as early as six minutes.

Sean Whelan sprung forward to cross from the left byline into his fellow full back Clive Smith at the back post, but the second year scholar couldn’t get the acquired connection on his first time volley with the ball trickling wide.

Up top, Eddie Dsane proved to be troublesome for Vale’s back four, linking well with Boyd before playing in the 16-year-old whose shot struck Valiants’ keeper Harry Pickering before the No.1 managed to cling on to the rebound.

A rare Vale attack gave North End something to think about, but Naughton’s effort on the edge of the box failed to test Ross Dalton in goal.

Adam J Robinson was showing bags of confidence as a deep lying centre midfielder, at one point seizing a gap in the left side of Vale’s defence to play a perfect ball into Boyd, but his header scraped the crossbar and went over.

Ben Roberts and Wicks also tested the goalkeeper’s wits from long range, but despite a hatful of chances, North End had nothing to show for their efforts other than an impressive opening 45 minutes.

Early in the second half, the Lilywhites’ got their just reward courtesy of a goalkeeping error; Robinson delivering a testing corner forcing Pickering to come and collect only for the keeper to spill the ball into the net, putting North End deservedly into the ascendency.

Not content with just a one goal cushion, Preston pushed further forward allowing their opposition little time to form a threat of their own; a low ball from Pritchard fell to Dsane with the goal to aim at, but the forward put his effort just wide of the right hand post.

Boss Harrison freshened up the right hand side bringing off Ben Roberts for Lyle Magolis, but it was from the other side through Pritchard where North End doubled their lead.

Pritchard again finding a gap in the Port Vale defence to shift the ball early into the box; the cross coming so early it took a Vale defender by surprise who handled it giving the referee no option other than to point to the spot.

Pritchard himself stepped up, and made no mistake slotting the ball into the left hand corner to make it 2-0 in the home sides favour.

Almost instantly, with five minutes remaining Preston rounded off their win with an instinctive finish from Sampson.

The centre back who made an late run to get into the box latched onto a Pritchard cross to fire his effort low into the corner to make it three with 85 minutes on the clock.  

Lamin Jagne and Dsane threatened to increase the goal count late on; Jagne speculative effort from 35 nearly sneaked over Pickering’s head and almost in, whilst the lightning footwork of Dsane forced Vale’s shot stopper to palm low to his left, but in the end North End were more than content, and worthy of their 3-0 win.

PNE XI: Dalton, Smith, Whelan, AJ Robinson, Sampson, Roscoe, Roberts, Wicks, Dsane, Boyd, Pritchard. Subs: Quigley, Hudson, Magolis, Jagne, Crankshaw.

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