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Match Reports

Match Report: PNE Reserves 5 Carlisle United 0

5 October 2021

Preston North End claimed a convincing 5-0 victory over Carlisle United in the Central League Cup.

PNE went into the break with a five-goal lead, with the returning Tom Barkhuizen opening the scoring, and braces followed from Brad Potts and Josh Murphy.

Scott Sinclair saw a penalty saved in the second half, and Jamie Thomas and Murphy were among those to also come close, but the scoring stopped at five.

North End named a strong side to take on the Cumbrians, with Barkhuizen one of those involved from the start, playing his first minutes since the opening day of the Championship season.

He was the man to break the deadlock seven minutes in as he blocked goalkeeper Adam Smith’s clearance before tapping home into the empty net.

The forward was then involved in the home side’s second, as he worked his way into the box before crossing for Potts to smash home a volley from six yards.

Zack Clough, formerly of Bolton Wanderers, had the next chance of the game, showing good feet before firing an effort at goal, which Declan Rudd was equal to, tipping over the bar.

On 34 minutes, North End got their third of the afternoon, with Adam O’Reilly throwing down the line for Potts to run on to, before he fired the ball across the face of goal for Murphy to tuck home at the far post.

The on-loan Cardiff man was soon involved in the fourth of the afternoon, slotting through to Joe Rafferty inside the box, and the left back put a nice ball right across the face of goal and Potts was there to finish to seal a brace and an assist within the first half.

There was still time for a fifth, though, as a long ball over the top was flicked on by a defender and Murphy stayed calm to slot past Smith just before the break.

Five minutes into the second period, Murphy was almost set up for a hat-trick, but Keelan Leslie’s defending put it out for a corner. In the play which followed the set piece, Liam Lindsay found himself in a crossing position, whipping the ball in for Joe Rodwell-Grant, but the forward couldn’t find the target with his header.

Goalkeeper Smith frustrated North End’s attackers over the next period of the game, thwarting the likes of Barkhuizen and Murphy with smart stops, before then saving a Scott Sinclair penalty, after he had been guilty of bringing down Rodwell-Grant.

The Lilywhites were perhaps unfortunate to not be awarded another as Murphy was clipped but chose to stay on his feet, sending an effort wide as he lost his footing, but the referee waved away appeals.

The woodwork stopped both teams adding to the scoreline, firstly with the bar preventing Jamie Thomas’ fantastic 30-yard strike, before Manasse Mampala then hit the post at the other end.

Carlisle had another late chance, with Leslie sending an effort goalwards in the closing stages, but Rudd produced the save to maintain his side's clean sheet.

PNE line-up: Rudd; O’Reilly, Huntington, Lindsay, Rafferty; Sinclair, Thomas, Potts, Murphy; Rodwell-Grant (O’Neill, 76), Barkhuizen. Subs not used: Hudson, Baxter, Nevin, Leigh.

Carlisle United line-up: Smith, Barnett (Fishburn, 45), Leslie, Devine, Ellis (Watt, 67), Kilsby, Mampala, Charters, Abrahams (Garvey, 79), Clough (Carr, 60), Bell.

Referee: Mr J Graham

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