Jerome Jolly is looking forward to facing Wigan Athletic in the Lancashire FA Professional Youth Cup final after the young Lilywhites eased past Accrington Stanley with a 4-0 semi-final win.
The midfielder struck a wonderful free-kick to break the deadlock, North End not looking back from there with three quickfire goals in the second half allowing for a comfortable victory.
PNE had also beaten Accrington last time out in league action, with Jolly on the scoresheet on that occasion as well, the Lilywhites youngster admitting to PNE.Com that it has been a satisfying start to 2019 for the youth team.
“It’s been good to start the New Year well by winning games, scoring goals and we kept a clean sheet today as well,” said the 18-year-old. “That was the main objective of the game and it was just an overall good performance to back up the game from Saturday as well.
“I thought we kept the ball well and moved it quickly, switched it, to get players into good positions and get shots off. We had lots of chances and didn’t take as many as we wish we had, but we’ve still won the game 4-0.
“We passed the ball well throughout the game and they were bound to get tired, which is what I think happened in that ten-minute spell [in the second half]. There were little gaps that we got into, we got players in behind and put crosses in and scored goals.”
The left-footed winger has doubled his goal tally for the season by netting in each of the two last games against Accrington, now up to four for the campaign, as he spoke of his magnificent free-kick which was the only separator of the teams after 45 minutes.
“I saw that there was only two in the wall and the ‘keeper was stood far to his right side, so I thought I would shoot. I managed to get it over the wall, back down again and it went in.
“It was one of those angles where if the ‘keeper stands too far to one side, he thinks that I’m going to cross it. You just have to try to get it up and over the wall and then they don’t really have a chance of getting there.”
Wigan overcame Rochdale in the day’s other semi-final tie, meaning PNE will meet Latics in the final of the competition for a second consecutive season, with Jolly hoping he and his fellow second year scholars who played in last season’s showdown can obtain a better result this time around.
“I think it will be a good game,” Jolly said of the April final against Wigan. “It should be a good game and a good test for us, but we will be up for it because we want to win something this year.
“We gave them a good game at the start of the season which I felt we were unlucky in; we missed a good chance at 2-2 to go in front but missed it and then they were clinical and scored a couple.
“A lot of us don’t want to be in that position again because losing in a final, no matter what cup it is, it’s not a good feeling. All of the players that played in it last season don’t want that feeling again so I think we will be even more determined to win.”