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Match Reports

Match Report: Bury 0 PNE XI 3

9 July 2023

A young Preston North End XI won 3-0 at Gigg Lane against Bury FC thanks to goals from Kian Taylor, Lewis Leigh and Kitt Nelson.

Two impressive solo goals got PNE going as Taylor opened the scoring in the 25th minute after weaving in and out of the home defence, and captain Leigh did the same early in the second half.

Nelson then scored a third for North End in the 72nd minute to cap off an impressive display by the young Lilywhites.

It was a momentous occasion at Gigg Lane as the hosts continued their weekend celebrating a return to their traditional home after four years away.

A North End side made up of young professionals and scholars – managed by former Bury player and gaffer Ryan Lowe – took on the Shakers and, on 15 minutes, Mikey O’Neill had the first meaningful effort of the match as he worked some room on the edge of the area before sending a shot over the crossbar.

At the other end a few minutes later, Jacob Slater came up with a vital touch to prevent Tom Kilifin’s cross reaching Andy Briggs in the middle, who would have otherwise had a simple finish.

Sam Unwin then came closest of anyone on 20 minutes when his powerful effort clipped the top of the crossbar and went into the stands behind the goal.

It was North End who took the lead, though, in the 25th minute as Taylor picked the ball up on the halfway line and weaved through the defence, before firing past the goalkeeper.

James Pradic made two great saves within a minute of each other towards the end of the half, firstly diving to his left to keep out Jack Tinning’s goalbound free-kick, and the ‘keeper then prevented a Briggs snapshot finding the bottom corner from the edge of the area.

Felipe Rodriguez-Gentile was involved in the first two chances of the second period, setting up Kitt Nelson who fired over from close range, and then seeing his own effort from 20 yards parried away from goal.

The second soon arrived for North End as, in the 54th minute, skipper Leigh picked the ball up on the left and eased his way past a few Bury bodies before expertly burying the ball into the far corner.

A third came in the 72nd minute when Kaedyn Kamara did well down the left to find Nelson with his back to goal six yards out, and the forward spun to send it past the goalkeeper.

Kamara almost followed his assist with a fantastic long-range strike, but Jack Atkinson dived to his left to put it wide.

Pradic was called into action late in the day by Connor Comber as the heavens opened at Gigg Lane, but he made sure North End held on to their clean sheet.

PNE line-up: Pradic; Taylor, Best (Wilkinson, 89), Slater (McGhee, 89); Seary (Eccleston, 83), Leigh (Pasiek, 75), Mawene, Kamara (Horan, 83); Rodriguez-Gentile; O’Neill (Goldsmith, 61), Nelson. Subs not used: Davis.

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