Preston North End progressed to the second round of the Carabao Cup with a commanding 4-1 victory away to Huddersfield Town.
Troy Parrott scored his first goal for the club inside just six minutes, before a double from Ali McCann – both assisted by Álvaro Fernández – put the visitors into a strong position at half-time.
Brad Potts then got in on the act shortly into the second period, and while Jordan Rhodes was able to pull one back for the hosts, it was PNE who comfortably made their way through to the next round of the competition.
Ryan Lowe’s side – with six changes from the weekend – were relentless in the opening 45 minutes and were rewarded for their early work, as on six minutes, Parrott opened his account for the club, getting on the end of Lee Nicholls’ parry from Ryan Ledson’s effort, before finding the bottom corner.
The Spurs loanee then almost had another a few minutes later when he weaved his way around the penalty area, but Nicholls dived low to his left to deny him.
Potts then came close to scoring what would have been an early shout for goal of the season, as he connected perfectly with Greg Cunningham’s cross from the left, and his volley hit the underside of the bar before then bouncing off the post.
McCann doubled North End’s lead on 19 minutes, as Fernández showed fantastic skill down the left before sending in a perfect cross for the Northern Irishman to tap home first time.
The pair of them linked up again for PNE’s third of the night in what was almost a carbon copy of the second, with the Manchester United loanee sending in a superb ball for McCann to cushion home.
It was an electric performance from the Spanish teenager, which unfortunately ended prematurely as he had to be replaced at half-time due to what looked like an ankle injury, with Daniel Johnson replacing him.
Five minutes into the second half, Ben Woodburn so nearly scored a fourth as his superb effort from 20 yards struck the underside of the bar before hitting Nicholls on the back, and the goalkeeper just about kept it from crossing the line.
PNE didn’t have to wait long for another, though, as Potts scored just moments later, winning the ball in midfield and drilling a low effort into the far corner.
The hosts got one back on 67 minutes, as Rhodes beat the offside trap to go one-on-one with goalkeeper Freddie Woodman, and the forward found the bottom corner.
There were professional debuts handed to youngsters Jacob Slater and Lewis Leigh in the game’s closing stages, and North End saw the game out as 4-1 winners.
PNE will find out their second round opposition tomorrow evening following the conclusion of the first round tie between Sheffield Wednesday and Sunderland.
Huddersfield Town line-up: Nicholls; Spencer, Lees (Edmonds-Green, 75), Boyle, Nakayama; Mahoney (Jackson, 84) Russell (Rudoni, 54), Camara, Koroma (Thomas, 55); Rhodes, Holmes (Anjorin, 54). Subs not used: Bilokapic, Turton, Ruffels, Grant, Jackson.
PNE line-up: Woodman; Storey, Bauer, Cunningham; Potts, Whiteman, Ledson (O’Neill, 84), Fernández (Johnson, 45); Woodburn (Slater, 84), McCann (Leigh, 88); Parrott (Riis, 60). Subs not used: Cornell, Hughes, Olosunde, Amaral.
Referee: Mr R Joyce.