Tom Wilkinson felt the game changed once Fleetwood Town equalised in Preston North End U18s’ 4-1 defeat to the Cod Army.
Dylan Gairns gave the young Lilywhites the lead in the first half, with a superb effort bending past Cole Wood in the Fleetwood goal.
However, four goals in the last 20 minutes saw the visitors walk away with all three points, resulting in PNE bowing out of the competition.
“Our heads went down when they scored the equaliser,” said Wilkinson.
“I thought we had a strong first half and continued that momentum into the early stages of the second and we probably should have extended our lead.
“Their confidence went up and ours went down when they scored, and that set them up to keep on scoring and win the game.”
The chosen captain for North End felt the physicality caught up with them by the end of the clash, but he thought the young side played well overall.
“I thought the boys put in a real good effort, especially in the first half,” continued Wilkinson.
“Our physicality and fitness definitely caught up with us by the end of the game.
“They showed their strength and endurance, and I think we did well to keep up with them.
“Some of the passing moves that were made and some of the decisions that were made 100% show there were positives from this game that we can take into the next.”
Looking towards the future, the tall centre back will be looking to work hard to earn some more opportunities at this level.
“I’m going to look at the positives from this game today and look to build on them,” stated Wilkinson.
“I’m always looking to implement ways to improve my game. and I’m just going to get my head down and try to impress.”