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Club News

Fans’ Team Complete League and Cup Double

29 June 2017

Club News

Fans’ Team Complete League and Cup Double

29 June 2017

The PNE’s fans’ team have won the IFA North West Cup and the IFA British League. North End edged out both St Johnstone and Stevenage to win the IFA British League for a record sixth time.

The IFA North West Cup was won 2-1 against Manchester United at A.F.C Mossley’s Seel Park, the seventh time the club has won the cup in eight years.

After losing two finals in the last three years – in both British and North West finals - the PNE fans were determined to be the ones left celebrating this time around.

The Lilywhites came out victorious over 90 minutes in the cup final, having lead for 84 of them, against one of the strongest sides to have played at the fans’ level.

United had won eight games in a row leading up to the final, before meeting the Whites.

Man United started the game with the early pressure, forcing an early save from goalkeeper Pete Kehoe. PNE weathered the early storm and striker Damien Singleton found the back of the Red Devil’s net.

Singleton carried on his fine form this season by notching his 45th goal in 22 games as the opener was slotted past the United keeper one on one.

With neither side seemingly able to break the other down in open play, United were undone at a set-piece just before the half. After failing to clear a corner it was Aaron Woodruff that doubled the North End advantage, following on from opening his account for the season last week against Walsall.

The Old Trafford faithful had the better of the second half but a back three of Adam Sharples, Dan Fisher and Matt Taylor was employed to keep the PNE lead intact. North End weren’t without their chances though as the United ‘keeper was forced to make saves to keep his side in it, but they were only counter attacks as the pressure mounted.

Eventually the pressure told as the Red Devils found a goal with only minutes left to set up a nervy close to the game. The team were buoyed during the final by support from other PNE faithful that had come along on the night, seeing the fans’ team held on to their lead with captain Phil Sumner and manager Jimmy Atkinson lifting the trophy.

On the team's success, Atkinson said: "There was local PNE fans who came to support us and they were excellent. We were probably outnumbered six to one in terms of support on the day in a healthy 100 plus crowd but it means a lot to us. We're just normal Preston North End fans and to be congratulated by other supporters on our success meant a lot to us all.

"What we've been through as a club over the past three years has been tough and have fallen at the final hurdle twice in two years in both North West and British Cup finals, but we've brought these guys on to be a really competitive outfit despite the vast majority starting off as a B team before we reverted to one team this year when Steve went full time at the club.

"We head to Nottingham for the Worldnet competition with spirits high having completed the double and look for further success both in the morning with our team and watching the Whites in the afternoon next season."

We would like to wish the team the best of luck and hope to see more success in the near future.

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