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Match Reports

Match Report: PNE 0 Liverpool 3

8 March 2022

Preston North End were beaten 3-0 in the second round of the Lancashire FA Senior Cup by Liverpool.

Goals from Fidel O’Rourke, Tom Clayton and Jack Bearne secured the victory for the Reds at Euxton as they set up a semi-final tie with Blackpool.

North End’s side on the day included a mixture of professionals and U19s, with Sean Maguire one of those in from the start, getting his first minutes since the end of January when he picked up an injury against West Brom.

Mikey O’Neill started behind the Irishman and had the first chance of the afternoon, seeing his right-footed effort slam into the side netting.

From that point on, the visitors got a good hold of the ball and almost opened the scoring themselves on 15 minutes, when Connor Ripley produced a good stop to deny Conor Bradley.

Liverpool did take the lead on 26 minutes, though, as O’Rourke lost his man on the end of a Leighton Clarkson free-kick and finished at the far post.

After Josh Murphy had then fired an effort wide of goal after being played in by O’Neill, the visitors doubled their lead, as captain Clayton headed home from six yards, finishing off Bradley’s cross from right back.

At the break, Aaron Bennett came on to replace Maguire, and the midfielder tried his luck within two minutes of his arrival, but Rhys Williams blocked his shot.

Bradley soon came close for the visitors before Bearne made it three for the Reds, finding the top corner after a good through ball by Dominic Corness.

North End almost got one back late on as left wing back Jacob Slater took the ball down well out of the sky, and he managed to poke the ball past the 'keeper, but a recovering defender ensured it didn’t cross the line.

PNE line-up: Ripley; Olosunde, Huntington (Nevin, 55), Blanchard; Seary, Leigh, Mawene, O’Neill, Slater; Murphy, Maguire (Bennett, 45). Subs not used: Pradic, Walker, Holland-Wilkinson.

Liverpool line-up: Pitaluga; Bradley (Wilson, 84), Williams, Quansah, Norris; Clarkson, Corness, Clayton (Dixon-Bonner, 77); Bearne, O’Rourke (Woltman, 68), Musialowski. Subs not used: Kelly, Koumetio.

Attendance: 158.

Referee: Mr R Aspinall.

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