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Match Report: PNE U19s 2 Shrewsbury Town U19s 1

12 August 2023

Preston North End U19s made it six points from six thanks to a narrow victory over Shrewsbury Town at Springfields.

A brace from Kitt Nelson secured the win for the Lilywhites in rather rainy conditions on Saturday.
 
PNE moved the ball excellently from kick-off, and in the opening exchanges Callum Havard was denied by the 'keeper, following a precise cross from Kacper Pasiek.
 
Drama unfolded in the 15th minute as a booking for Shrewsbury was quickly followed by a straight red for another player after an altercation with Ellis Horan.
 
With Shrewsbury down to ten men, North End made the most of the advantage and two minutes later Nelson had the ball in the back of the net after meeting a floating ball from Cole McGhee; volleying the ball neatly into the bottom left corner.
 
Multiple chances occurred after the opener, including Tom Wilkinson’s header which went just wide of goal in the 26th minute.
 
Pasiek is worth a notable mention; he made some vital runs down the wing in order to create chances, one of which floated over the crossbar after he took the ball into the box shortly before the break.
 
And Charlie Goldsmith tried his luck with a long-range effort at the corner of the box in the 44th minute, but the ball swung over the crossbar before Horan went close on the half-time whistle.
 
As the second half commenced, a confident North End side came out of the changing room and it was Nelson with the first chance of the half.
 
Ethan Eccleston’s cross found him in the box, but the volley went straight into the hands of the 'keeper.
 
Shrewsbury too were hungry for a goal, but a vital sliding tackle from Horan denied them an opportunity to test Tommy Davis.
 
With shots galore from the Lilywhites, it’s a wonder how they were only leading by one. However, Nelson scored his and PNE's second late on, finding the net from close range after connecting with Eccleston’s cross from the right.
 
Shrewsbury pulled back a consolation goal in added time, but the full-time whistle blew and PNE were once again victorious, providing a strong back-to-back winning start to the season.
 
Coach Andy Fensome was pleased with the boys’ overall performance, too.
 
He said: “I thought we played really well in the first half again.
 
“We moved the ball well and there were some good passing patterns and we played attacking football.
 
“Even when the opposition went down to ten men we created chances and we had lots of shots.
 
“We’ve got to hit the target more from those shots on the edge of the box but we were still playing on the front foot and created chances.”
 
Looking ahead to next week's Youth Alliance Cup fixture against Rochdale – who were defeated 3-2 by North End last week – Fenners spoke of how they’ll use these two wins to move forward.
 
He said: “We’ll just continue to play the way we want to really because I think we are a good side.
 
“I think we can pass the ball well, it’s just about developing over the weeks to come.”
 
After grabbing the brace, Nelson spoke of how pleased he was to get on the scoresheet and how he’s improved as a player.
 
He said: “Obviously you want to score in the first game of the season but to bag a brace I’d like to think it kind of makes up for it.
 
“I’ve developed quite a lot physically over the last season particularly so I think it helps as well the fact I’ve played in these youth games for two years now.
 
“It’s just about keeping that confidence going into every game and if I know what I’m doing then I can perform well.”
 
The Youth Alliance Cup game on Saturday 19th August against Rochdale is to be held at Springfields again, this time as a home fixture for North End.
 
All support as always is welcome.

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