Despite his impressive individual display, Mike Howard was left disappointed as Preston North End U18s lost 3-2 away at Morecambe on Saturday.
The winger was at the heart of many North End attacks during the lively affair, putting the visitors 2-1 ahead just past the midpoint of the first-half, but Morecambe turned things around before the break to seal a narrow win.
“We should have won it and we obviously needed to take and finish more of our chances,” said Howard.
“I think I could have scored a couple more goals from some of my shots. I just think I need to practise on that in training and then put it into the game.”
The winger also suggested that the team didn’t do enough towards the end of first-half, when Morecambe scored twice to overturn PNE’s one goal advantage.
He added: “We were just being a bit sloppy on the ball and giving it away too much. They just got through us a bit too easily without us getting a challenge in and that’s how they scored.
“The second goal came from them coming through the middle and getting past two of us and that just carried on up to the box for the penalty.”
Although disappointed by the final score, the 17-year-old made a final personal contribution during the game. He won the penalty for the Lilywhites’ first goal before scoring the second himself – albeit with the help of a deflection.
But Howard said he would still claim the strike as his own and try to continue making an impact in the final third.
“I think the ‘keeper might have got a hand to it, but as a winger it’s your job to assist and score goals really. It’s just important to keep doing that for the team.”
Despite the frustration of this defeat, Howard and his teammates now have an FA Youth Cup fourth round tie against Everton to look forward to on Wednesday.
And the first-year scholar concluded: “It’s a big game and I think we’ve got a good chance of winning it.”