Leon Creech felt Preston North End U18s needed to be more clinical in Tuesday’s Lancashire FA Youth Cup semi-final defeat to Bury.
The second-year scholar helped the Lilywhites to a clean sheet in 90 minutes before tucking the first spot-kick of the resulting shootout away, but it was the visitors who won 4-3 on penalties.
“It shouldn’t really have gone to penalties; we should have taken our chances but that’s how football goes,” said the 18-year-old. “I thought we played very well and it’s just about taking our chances.
“I think we had six or seven clear chances but the ‘keeper did very well for them, and I felt we were on top for the majority of the game. They struggled to play a little bit when we pressed them.
The result brought an end to the youth team’s participation in cup competitions this season, where they have impressed in the Youth Alliance Cup as well as the national and regional youth cup tournaments.
This result aside, Creech was pleased with the experience of playing in cup competitions this season.
“We have done really well in the cup games, especially in the FA Youth Cup, and we’ve played very well. Unfortunately, this just wasn’t our game.
“It was a very lively match and it was a great game to play in, especially after getting knocked out of the FA Youth Cup.”
The 18-year-old was playing at right-back against Bury, a position which he has regularly filled this term.
Creech is enjoying that role after previously featuring in more advanced areas – but his attacking instincts are still evident in his game, as demonstrated by his goal in the penalty shootout.
“In the Youth Cup I wasn’t as confident, but I always said this time that if it got to penalties that I’d make sure I went first and I did, so I was happy to put it away.
“There were a couple of times when I got caught out of position, but overall I thought I was OK. I put some good balls into the box and had a chance in the first couple of minutes that I could have scored from.
“At first, I wasn’t too sure about right-back, but now I think I understand the role more; I know where I need to be and I’m really starting to enjoy it. Looking to the future, right-back could maybe be my position.”