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PNE U18s 1-3 Blackpool U18s

17 September 2015

PNE U18s were beaten in a competitive game for the first time since the opening day of the season, losing 3-1 to rivals Blackpool.

Academy boss Nick Harrison rested a number of usual starters with some players featuring in the Lancashire Senior Cup game against Everton two days before.

Eight academy players in total were in the side that lost to Premier League opposition with Clive Smith, Sean Whelan, Lamin Jagne and Adam James Robinson starting the game.

As a consequence, only A James Robinson played against Blackpool from those four players two days later, and although Harrison admitted his disappointment in defeat, the gaffer drawn on the positives of the game.

“We’re obviously not happy with the defeat,” told Harrison to the Club website after the game, “but it’s a good experience for those lads who have come in, who maybe haven’t played much so far this season.

“We made a lot of changes because of the reserve game on the Monday and a lot of lads had played 90 minutes so we gave some of the other boys who haven’t played in the other games an opportunity.

"So it’s great those boys have got the opportunity but we’re obviously disappointed with the defeat against a rival.

“The boys who didn’t play who usually would have played would have had an impact on the game but the lads coming in are more then capable of representing Preston North End U18s and more than capable of putting a performance in for a game of football.

“We believe in the players that were on the pitch, but they’ve got to deliver and live up to their ability and we’re disappointed that some of the players didn’t do that.

“But it’s all about the development and learning from playing in a derby game and the intensity of it and hopefully that will help them next time.

"It was pleasing to see some of the boys who came off the bench make an impact in the game, and it was pleasing that they affected the game.”

Blackpool took the lead seven minutes into the game with a converted free-kick, and the visitors doubled their advantage almost immediately after the restart.

North End got one back with Dylan Davidson scoring from the spot, but that was after Blackpool added a third to seal the win.

Harrison conceded that a match-up between the Lilywhites and the Tangerines is always fierce no matter what the level, but declared the result was equal to any other defeat despite the opposition.

He continued: “Of course we want to win games because winning is a good habit to have, but the priority is the performance at this level, and the performance against Blackpool wasn’t right and it wasn’t what we expect but you’ve got to remember that they’re young lads and it’s something they can learn from.

“If they can’t put in consistent performances, they’re not going to progress as footballers and we’re looking at those players now for next time they play to put those mistakes right and show us how good they really are.

“We plan for every game the same way - whether it’s a local rival, a cup game, or a league game, the boys are given the information about who they’re playing against and how we play so there’s no difference in the preparation and because of that the defeat isn’t any bigger.

“The players have had a good week, they’ve played in the reserve game, done well, and the boys who have come in have got some game time on Wednesday so it’s been a good week of football.”

PNE XI vs Blackpool: Roberts, Kwateng, Earl, A Joseph Robinson, Roberts, Hancox, Crankshaw, Meulensteen, Barry A James Robinson, Davidson

PNE Subs: Whelan, Cotton, Jagne, Boyd, Lunney 


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