Three first half goals from outside the box gave the youth team a mountain to climb as they ultimately lost 4-0 to Fleetwood Town at Poolfoot Farm.
A fifth-minute free-kick from all of 35 yards proved a glimpse of what was to follow on a difficult morning for the young Lilywhites, who went two down midway through the first half with a low finish tucked into the bottom corner first time from the edge of the box.
Another free-kick five minutes before the break, this time ten yards or so closer to goal and right of centre, made it a three-goal deficit at the break and 20 minutes from time, the hosts completed the scoring with a throw-in routine culminating in a goal from point blank range.
Having been edged out on penalties by the same opponents in the Lancashire FA Professional Youth Cup first round the previous weekend, there were two changes from that side to the one which lined up at Poolfoot Farm.
Lewis Coulton came in for the injured Lincoln McFayden at left back while there was a change in attack as Joe Rodwell-Grant made way for Louis Potts in the lone striker’s role.
The deadlock was broken inside five minutes, a superb free-kick from some way out giving Jimmy Corcoran in the PNE goal absolutely no chance, the left-footed effort arrowing into the top right-hand corner.
Fleetwood doubled their lead after 22 minutes when a loose ball to the midfielder on the edge of the box, where he guided a low strike into the bottom corner.
It was another goal direct from a set piece that made it three in the 40th minute, with the ball again placed down and curled into the same top right corner.
The Lilywhites could not get back into the game and fell further behind in the 70th minute. The goal came after a winger escaped his marker from a throw, his cross to the back post put back into the centre and finished from close range.
That proved the final goal on a disappointing morning for the young Lilywhites, who now face a two-week break from competitive action, having been set to take on Bury in two different competitions over the next two weekends.
Next up for Nick Harrison’s team then is a trip to North West Youth Alliance league newcomers Oldham Athletic on Saturday 12th October.
PNE line-up: Corcoran; Huddart, Earl, Williams, Coulton; Nolan, Dooley (Rahman, 71); Holland-Wilkinson, Dolan, Walker (Bennett, 56); Potts (Rodwell-Grant, 64). Subs not used: Nicholson, Lombard.