Jimmy Corcoran was the youth team’s shootout hero as North End youngsters progressed to the FA Youth Cup Fourth Round, winning 3-1 on penalties following a 2-2 draw in 120 minutes at Deepdale.
Jack Baxter and Ethan Walker scored in a penalty-dominated contest at Deepdale, with four spot kicks awarded in total.
The former tucked home inside the opening five minutes but had a second spot kick saved on the stroke of half-time, moments after Kareem Isiaka equalised from 12 yards at the other end.
Walker took over spot kick duties ten minutes into the second half to give PNE the lead once more, Euan Williams cancelling that effort out with a strike of his own 15 minutes from time, before Corcoran saved two and Charlton saw another effort hit the crossbar for the hosts to win the shootout.
Nick Harrison made four changes to the side which defeated Morecambe ten days previously, Lincoln McFayden and Ethan Walker returning in defence and attack respectively, while Irish pair Jimmy Corcoran and Adam O’Reilly were also back in the side.
And O’Reilly had barely led his side onto the pitch as captain before his compatriot was called into action. Corcoran made two fine saves in quick succession, diverting Charlie Barker’s header behind for a corner before denying James Gody from the subsequent delivery.
However, North End looked just as dangerous in attack at the other end as Walker twisted his marker inside out drifting inside from the left to earn the first of four penalties, and Baxter’s effort nestled right inside the bottom right corner.
The hosts could have doubled their lead five minutes later with Walker again carrying the threat on the left, Louis Potts backheeling his low cross in Tyrhys Dolan’s direction, who fired against the post from close range.
Charlton’s early intensity did not diminish, though nor did Corcoran’s goalkeeping prowess; the Irishman rushing off his line to send Isiaka wide, having been sent into the box from Terell Agyemang’s pass, Richard Chin then firing the loose ball over.
The Lilywhites cooled down after a high tempo opening in the wintery Deepdale conditions, Potts almost sent through by O’Reilly midway through the half but unable to burst past the last line of defence, Baxter unleashing straight at ‘keeper Joe Osaghae shortly after.
Charlton went close ten minutes before the break when Tyrone Kirunda turned James Vennings’ free-kick just around the post, but five minutes later, they did grab an equaliser.
Isiakia was adjuged to have been fouled in the box in the 40th minute and the striker stepped up himself to level matters.
North End had a chance to immediately restore their advantage when Walker was felled in the box by Freddy Barton for a second time, but Osaghae was this time equal to Baxter’s effort as he set his sights on the same bottom right corner.
But PNE were not dispirited and came out strongly in the second half, with a succession of corners preceding a fourth penalty of the match being awarded in the home side’s favour.
It was another exquisite piece of control by Potts, met by Jolly racing through who was brought down as the referee again pointed to the spot. Walker this time took hold of the ball and dispatched confidently into the top left corner.
Walker almost created another minutes thereafter with a sensational run through the centre, although his pass wide right for Potts was overhit.
The visitors fluffed a chance to equalise before the hour as Gody dragged wide of Corcoran’s bottom corner one-on-one, and Lewis Earl threw himself in front of a Barker effort soon after.
Charlton grew back into the contest 20 minutes from the end with PNE having dominated much of the second half up to that point, McFayden making a brilliant interception to prevent Isiaka from testing Corcoran from point blank distance.
Lewis Simmons made another vital block from Kirunda’s drive while Jolly headed wide at the other end, although Charlton did equalise for a second time in the 75th minute.
Williams profited from a cross in from the right, his first touch falling kindly for him to fire in from a few yards out.
There were chances for both sides to win it in the dying moments as Walker was denied by Osaghae from a tight angle, and Simmons cleared off the line for PNE deep into stoppage time.
An extra half hour was therefore in order with Williams and substitute Richard Afrane-Kesey off target as O’Reilly forced a save from Osaghae at the other end.
Isiaka hooked over Barton’s cross and Pollard had a shot turned over for a corner from the angle, Walker also racing through late on while Tyler Williams heroicily blocked his namesake's strike at the other end, but a shootout was ultimately forced to separate the sides.
Armer, O’Reilly and Walker converted for PNE in the shootout, Baxter striking his effort wide, but Corcoran saved from Williams and Luca Albon, before Afrane-Kesey struck the bar, to ensure victory for North End.
PNE line-up: Corcoran, Simmons (Pollard, 93), McFayden, Baxter, Earl, (Williams, 80), Armer, Jolly, O’Reilly, Potts ( Brannigan, 64), Dolan (McManus, 117), Walker. Subs not used: Cottam.
Charlton Athletic line-up: Osaghae, Barton, Aidoo, Vennings, Barker, Kirunda (Keefe, 87), Agyemang (Godding, 54), Chin (Afrane-Kesey, 71), Isiaka, Williams, Gody (Albon, 103). Subs not used: Harvey.
Referee: Mr D Baines