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Youth Team

Blackpool U18 0 PNE U18 3

1 September 2019

Preston North End beat rivals Blackpool 3-0 in the mini-derby thanks to a fantastic performance from the youth team at Myerscough College.

Louis Potts and Jacob Holland-Wilkinson’s efforts at either end of the first half marked a fine start for the young Lilywhites, who extended their advantage after the break with Ethan Walker scoring his fifth goal of the season.

There was just one change to the team which beat Bradford City by the same scoreline in the Youth Alliance Cup last time out, Tyler Williams coming into the side and taking the captain’s armband – becoming the fourth man to skipper the side already this term.

And North End made a blistering start to take the lead inside ten minutes. Walker’s super switch of play out to right gave Aaron Bennet space to cross and Potts got across to the near post to convert beyond the goalkeeper.

Just before half-time, Bennett was involved again, playing an eye-of-the-needle through ball to find Ethan Walker bearing down on goal. He duly rounded the goalkeeper and rolled it across the face for Holland-Wilkinson to double the lead from minimal distance.

Walker put the icing on the cake with a quarter of an hour to go by plucking the ball out of the air and finishing superbly from outside the box to ensure a three-goal winning margin.

Nick Harrison spoke to PNE.Com after the game, explaining how he has been pleased with the back-to-back away victories to nil – firstly against Bradford last week and now with the triumph over Blackpool.

“It was a really good result and more importantly a really good team performance,” said the Academy manager. “There were a number of individuals that played really well so we’re pleased with that.

“That’s six goals in two games and two clean sheets as well. We’re pleased to get those two results, but I think more importantly, the performance is the reason why we score those goals and keep the clean sheets.

“The work ethic and the attitude of the players in both games has been brilliant and that’s something we want to continue. We feel that when the players work at their hardest and when their attitude and mentality is right, then they’re going to put in good performances.”

With Ethan Walker taking his tally to five and Jacob Holland-Wilkinson to four for the season, while the other scorer on the day Louis Potts also finding the net for a second consecutive game, Harrison has been encouraged by the multiple goalscorers in the side.

He also agreed that the players – not only those on the scoresheet – could take renewed confidence from their derby day success.

“We’ve got a number of individuals who can create goals and also score goals; that’s the type of players that we’ve got and we’ve recruited, and we have those throughout the Academy,” he added.

“We also want to make sure that they’ve got the right degrees in terms of what they do when the team haven’t got the ball and that revolves a lot around work rate and their attitude to get the ball back. We’re seeing a lot of that in the games at the moment.

“I certainly think that the confidence of the players is high at the moment and that will continue to be the case if they carry on working hard in training and continue to work hard in the games programme.”

PNE line-up: Corcoran; Huddart, Williams, Earl, Coulton (Nicholson, 87); Nolan, Bennett (Dooley, 70); Holland-Wilkinson (Rahman, 74), Dolan, Walker (Rodwell-Grant); Potts. Subs not used: Lombard.


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