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Youth Team

Tranmere Rovers U18 2 PNE U18 3

25 November 2019

Brian McManus came off the bench to complete an impressive turnaround for the youth team, with his long-range effort the decisive strike in a 3-2 win away at Tranmere Rovers.

Joe Rodwell-Grant had given the young Lilywhites the lead after just 12 minutes, but the hosts scored twice before the break to overturn that effort and lead at half-time.

But Aaron Bennett drew PNE level midway through the second half before McManus’ effort 12 minutes from time sealed the win for Nick Harrison’s side.

Academy manager Harrison made four changes to the side that beat Notts County by a one-goal margin a fortnight ago; Jimmy Corcoran, Harry Huddart, Ben Dooley and Bennett replacing Ollie Lombard, Kyi Nicholson, Hafizul Rahman and McManus.

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And it was a quick start from the visitors who were ahead with barely ten minutes played.

It was a wonderful goal to break the deadlock, too, with Joe Nolan finding Bennett on the left, holding the ball up well and setting up Lewis Coulton to cross first time, with his delivery met by a bullet of a header from Rodwell-Grant to find the net.

The Lilywhites’ tempo slowed, however, with Tranmere stepping up to find some rhythm, which produced two goals of their own, ensuring them a one-goal advantage at the halfway stage.

Louis Potts entered the fray for the start of the second half but North End had to wait to make their breakthrough again.

It finally came in the 67th minute, with McManus making an immediate impact from the bench – his ball over the top appearing to cause some confusion as the Tranmere backline and goalkeeper appealed for an offside flag, which did not come, and Bennett duly lobbed the bouncing ball over the goalkeeper from just outside the box.

The comeback was complete 11 minutes later with the visitors again making inroads down the left, Tyrhys Dolan this time the provider, cutting back to tee up McManus to shoot, who took one touch before hammering a fierce strike into the bottom left corner from 20 yards.

The win extends the unbeaten run of North End’s youngsters to six matches, with five wins and one draw in that time, with their next match at home to Port Vale on Saturday 30th November in an 11am kick-off at UCLan Sports Arena.

PNE line-up: Corcoran; Huddart, Williams, McFayden, Coulton; Nolan, Dooley (McManus, 65); Holland-Wilkinson (Potts, 46), Dolan, Bennett; Rodwell-Grant. Subs not used: Nicholson, Eastham, Leigh.

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