Preston North End U18s grabbed a late point against Rochdale in their first Youth Alliance Cup game at Springfields on Saturday.
An early finish from Charlie Goldsmith, within the first five minutes of the game put North End ahead. Rochdale were able get an equaliser in the 60th minute with a superb finish and then took the lead in the 83rd minute, but just six minutes later, substitute Max Wilson was able to convert a cross to find the back of the net and help his team earn a late point.
The Lilywhites started the game brilliantly, as it took them only four minutes to get on the scoresheet with a composed finish from Charlie Goldsmith. Their momentum did not stop there in the first half, as they were excellent going forwards and even defensively as they did not concede.
As the second half started, North End were unable to be find the back of the net. The chances were created from the midfield; however, they were unable to be clinical in the final third. Rochdale were able to capitalise and equalised with a shot which flew past Tommy Davis on the hour mark.
The goals and drama didn’t stop there. PNE captain Kaedyn Kamara was sent off as he was shown his second yellow card of the day in the 79th minute after a challenge on the opposition.
Dale were able to take advantage of ten-man North End, when they added to their tally in the 83rd minute; giving them hope that they could win the game and walk away with all three points.
Fortunately, for PNE that wasn’t the end to the story, as in the 89th minute of the game Ellis Horan was able to whip in a magnificent cross which was met by the head of the super sub–Max Wilson who found the leveller.
Coach Andy Fensome expressed his feelings of disappointment after the game, saying he felt his side should’ve come away with all three points.
He said: “We wanted to win the game, we are disappointed that we didn’t win the game and ended up drawing it. First half, I thought we were excellent, but we didn’t take our chances, and that really effected the second half.”
“We played some really good football in that game; we’ve come back with ten men and got the equaliser.
“These players are young players, so they have to learn game management and when we are on top of games, we need to finish teams off.” Fensome added.
“At times when they’re under pressure, they’ve got to learn to stick together and be as a group and be compact and work together to not concede because you don’t want to concede goals.”
After the fixture, Max Wilson spoke about his mentality when coming on as a substitute and how he desired to add energy to the game.
“I wanted to bring energy onto the pitch. The game had gone a little bit flat when everyone got tired. When we went 2-1 down, I felt like I needed to bring something to the game”.
“It felt good to get the equaliser and to be able to play my part for the team especially when you’re off the bench, it’s what the manager brings you on for”.
North End are back in Youth Alliance League action at the weekend. The side will travel to the coast to face Blackpool on Saturday 26th August.
Preston North End: Davis, Wilkinson, Pasiek (Wilson 75), Horan, McGhee, Brindle, Eccleston, Kamara, Havard (Carroll 63), Khan, Goldsmith (Tarry 88).
Subs Not Used: Stowell, Critchley.