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Youth Team

Andy Fensome And Tom Wilkinson React To Cup Defeat

6 December 2023

Youth Team

Andy Fensome And Tom Wilkinson React To Cup Defeat

6 December 2023

Andy Fensome felt his side paid the price for missed chances in the FA Youth Cup third round defeat to Coventry City, but said he was proud of the players for their performance.

Preston North End U18s played an enthralling 120 minutes against the Sky Blues at Deepdale in a 3-3 draw, before the visitors progressed via a penalty shootout.

Theo Mawene opened the scoring for PNE in the 12th minute, before Coventry levelled against the run of play through Aidan Dausch, but PNE would lead at the break thanks to Felipe Rodriguez-Gentile.

Dausch found another equaliser, though, seven minutes before the 90 was up and Charlie Finney thought he’d won it in extra-time, until Tom Wilkinson popped up with a 121st-minute leveller to send the match to penalties.

However, North End’s Izac Khan was the only player to miss in an otherwise perfect shootout, and the Sky Blues took the victory.

Fenners said: “I’m proud of the players. They gave it their all, they got themselves back in the game at the end.

“I don’t think there was a lot of quality from either side at times but that makes an exciting game. We created chances, we knew we would get chances, but we just didn’t take enough of them tonight.

“Taking it into extra-time we tried to give them as much positivity as we could.

“I told them they were right back in the game which we were, and then to concede again in the first half of extra-time was disappointing again.

“I know that was a big body blow for some of them. They stuck at it and they gave themselves a right chance and still created chances.”

As the game approached the final stages of extra-time, it looked as though the visitors had done enough to seal the win, until the ball dropped to defender Wilkinson in the 121st minute.

He slammed home to send the game to penalties, not only cuing huge celebrations on the pitch but also putting the second-year scholar in some serious pain as cramp kicked in.

Tom laughed: “I feel fine now, but it was amazing. As soon as the ball came to me I thought I’ve got to shoot, get it on target, it goes in, and then next thing I know everyone’s piling on top of me. It’s amazing.

“The coaches were telling us we were going to get one more chance, and when we did we took it and took us to penalties. I had the confidence to go through and most us scored.”

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