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Match Reports

Match Report: PNE U19 6 Walsall U19 0

24 April 2022

A Jacob Holland-Wilkinson hat-trick led Preston North End U19 on their way to a dominant 6-0 victory against Walsall.

Holland-Wilkinson was back in the goals with a first-half treble, while Finlay Cross-Adair had a double and Rio Pemberton also netted in what was a brilliant dominant display from North End.

Kick-off was delayed 20 minutes but that didn’t affect the Lilywhites as they got off to an extremely fast start. Holland-Wilkinson was played through by Joe Blanchard, the referee played advantage after a foul in the build-up and the striker was able to slot the ball past the ‘keeper just four minutes in.

Shortly after North End doubled their lead, as Cross-Adair was able to fire past the goalkeeper after some great pressing from the front.

After just 15 minutes, North End then made it three as Pemberton got in on the act. Cross-Adair was once again, crossing the ball into the area and Pemberton was positioned well to finish off.

Holland-Wilkinson soon grabbed his second of the match thanks to a great ball down the left from Kian Best. The ‘keeper looked favourite for it, but he slipped, and Holland-Wilkinson pounced to give PNE a four-goal lead.

With 28 minutes on the clock, Holland-Wilkinson was able to complete his hat-trick, as the forward took the ball in well before calmly rounding the ‘keeper to give North End a five-goal lead.

The Lilywhites started the second half just as they finished the first – in complete control – however, the wind was becoming an issue as they looked to add to their goal tally.

A fifth was to come, though, as Cross-Adair scored his second of the game. Great work between Holland-Wilkinson and Pemberton down the right saw them find the forward in the area and he was able to finish past the ‘keeper to make it six.

North End continued to push for more goals, with attacking midfielder Kitt Nelson forcing a good save from the Walsall ‘keeper with a strike from the edge of the area.

The Lilywhites then emptied their bench, giving opportunities to several youngsters including Ethan Eccleston, Izac Khan and Tommy Davis.

The weather conditions were making it difficult for both teams to launch an attack, however North End continued to control the game and see it out in a professional manor.

Speaking after the game, coach Andy Fensome said: “I thought we were excellent in the first half.

“I thought we passed the ball really well, moved it quickly and shared it around, got the ball quickly as much as we could and took our chances.”

Many young players were given an opportunity to impress in the second half and Fenners believes it’s important they get used to playing with this team of players.

“Several of the lads that came on today are scholars ready for next year,” he added.

“It’s important that they start playing with the other lads, to see how we play and get used to a step up in quality.”

Looking ahead, the U19s have the Youth Alliance Cup final against Luton Town still to play, as well as two more league games. 

“We have some tough games coming up,” Andy added.

“Any cup final is going to be tough but hopefully we will be able to come out on top.”

PNE line-up: Lombard (Davis, 75), Taylor (Wilkinson, 60), Lewis, Mawene (C) (Khan, 75), Blanchard (Pasiek, 60), Best, Wallbank, Nelson, Cross-Adair, Pemberton, Holland-Wilkinson (Eccleston, 75). 


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