North End made it six league wins in a row as they fired four past Salford City.
A Mikey O’Neill spot kick double as well as goals from Jacob Slater and Finlay Cross-Adair secured a victory for North End on a wet and windy day in Salford.
Academy manager Nick Harrison made one change from the team that started the match away at Huddersfield last week, which was abandoned due to the weather in the first half, as goalkeeper James Pradic was replaced by Olly Lombard.
North End started the brighter of the two teams in the opening stages without creating any clear chances.
The first chance did fall the way of the Lilywhites though, it was good work from Cross-Adair who found Lewis Leigh on the edge of the area but his effort was well saved by the 'keeper who tipped it over the bar.
A great chance then fell to O’Neill to give North End the lead however his strike was cleared off the line.
It was PNE who took the lead mid-way through the first half when Slater followed up a dropped cross from the 'keeper to give North End a deserved lead.
North End controlled the majority of the half before Salford began to pile on pressure in the final stages before the break and a big save from Lombard one on one denied the hosts a certain equaliser.
On the counter attack North End were awarded a penalty as Cross-Adair was brought down in the box.
O’Neill stepped up to take the kick and he fired it into the bottom left-hand corner to double North End’s lead right before half-time.
The hosts started the second half bright with their best opportunity forcing a good save by Lombard to tip a free-kick over the bar.
Both teams were able to have plenty of the ball in the opening stages of the second half but chances for both teams were hard to come by.
Noah Mawene tried to add a third for the Lilywhites by trying his luck from distance, but his strike went over the bar.
North End made their first substitution of the game mid-way through the second half seeing Vaughn Green make way for Levi Lewis.
Just a minute later Cross-Adair made it three, the striker tapped in from close range after good play from Mawene and O’Neill.
North End continued to push for more and two minutes after they scored their third Mawene was fouled in the area and won North End’s second penalty of the game.
O’Neill stepped up again and he once again found the bottom left-hand corner to give North End a four-goal lead.
The Lilywhites made a double substitution introducing Dana Amaral and Felipe Rodriguez-Gentile who replaced Cross-Adair and Mawene, before North End’s final substitution of the game came five minutes from time. Josh Seary made way for the oncoming Theo Mawene, the younger brother of U19s midfielder Noah Mawene.
Nick Harrison felt the team’s performance was “excellent” as they put four past Salford who beat them in the reverse fixture on the opening day of the season.
“I thought the team’s performance was excellent. We dominated possession, passed the ball really well on a difficult pitch in difficult conditions but I thought the application to pass the ball and break the opposition down was really good.
“Ultimately this is all to create chances and I thought we created lots of chances, I particularly felt we started off really brightly and overall, it was a really good performance.”
This victory marked six league wins on the bounce for North End and Harrison believes the players are really showing their quality.
“We’ve got really good players.” Said Harrison. “I’ve said it numerous times we’ve got a number of really outstanding players in our Academy.
“Whether they are scholars or younger players, we’ve had two U15s' players play a part in the game today which is really good for them because that’s how they get better.”
“The results are a result of really good performances on the ball and off the ball, I thought we worked hard again and the attitude to win the ball back, press as well as create problems for the opposition and that’s why we are consistently seeing good, winning performances.”
North End are back in action next weekend as they look to make it seven league wins in a row as they prepare to take on Shrewsbury Town at home in the Youth Alliance League.