The youth team’s winning start to the campaign was halted by Salford City on Saturday morning, the young Lilywhites losing out 3-2 at Partington Sports Village.
Tyrhys Dolan netted for the first time this term to cancel out the hosts' opener and see North End go in level at the break, but Jacob Holland-Wilkinson’s second for the visitors on the hour – after Salford had netted two early second half goals of their own – was not enough to mount a comeback for Nick Harrison’s team.
The Academy manager made four changes from the team which beat Morecambe last time out; Kyi Nicholson, Levi Lewis and Joe Rodwell-Grant handed their first starts of the campaign while Brian McManus returned to the starting fold.
That made for a particularly youthful back four with the inclusion of U16 Lewis at left back and first years Nicholson and Lewis Coulton accompanying second year Lewis Earl in the backline.
The hosts took the lead after 12 minutes with a goal from a corner before Ethan Walker – who came off the bench for North End in the midweek Carabao Cup tie against Bradford City – earned a penalty for PNE nine minutes later.
Walker stepped up and although his effort rebounded off the left-hand post, Dolan showed great reactions to slot in the rebound first time from just inside the area.
However, two Salford goals within the opening six second half minutes set up a difficult task for the visiting Lilywhites who, like the first team away at Swansea City on the same day, were wearing the new yellow away kit for the first time.
Jacob Holland-Wilkinson produced a timely response by hammering a left-footed strike into the far left corner on the hour mark – Dolan again directly involved in the goal, providing the assist with a fine pass to find the striker on the right-hand side of the box.
However, North End were unable to find an equaliser in the final half an hour, meaning a first defeat of the campaign in both friendly and league matches was in order – ending a ten-match unbeaten run for the U18 side which began on the last day of last season.
PNE line-up: Corcoran; Nicholson, Earl, Coulton, Lewis (Huddart, 59); Nolan, McManus (Bennett, 59); Holland-Wilkinson, Dolan, Walker; Rodwell-Grant (Potts, 59). Subs not used: Lombard, Rahman.