Preston North End U19s extended their lead at the top of the Youth Alliance League with a 2-1 comeback victory against Bolton Wanderers.
Troy Tarry and Theo Carroll scored in quick succession in the second half to secure victory for North End at Springfields, having gone behind in the early stages.
In a highly competitive clash, PNE pushed for chances from the first whistle, most notably through a header from Carroll which went just over the crossbar in the seventh minute.
With captain Kaedyn Kamara forced off early on due to injury, Ellis Horan stepped up to take his place and the hosts continued to press Bolton.
However, it was the visitors who opened the scoring; Sean Hogan striking the ball beyond Tommy Davis following a short corner.
The Lilywhites were then on the hunt for an equaliser, but Jonny Brindle’s long-range effort was caught comfortably by the Bolton ‘keeper.
The second half saw a determined North End emerge, and as they gained momentum they seemed hungry to pile pressure onto Bolton.
The 57th minute saw Bolton’s goalscorer Hogan see red, following a late challenge on Felipe Rodriguez-Gentile, and North End utilised this advantage just five minutes later.
A fantastic cross from Horan met Troy Tarry in the box who comfortably headed the ball into the back of the net to level matters.
Confidence in abundance, it took only three minutes for the young Lilywhites to take the lead. This time it was Carroll tapping in a rebound from the Bolton goalkeeper, following Rodriguez-Gentile’s shot being parried out.
A composed and collected home side looked to see out the rest of the game ahead and they did just that, as they secured back-to-back league victories.
Speaking after the game, coach Andy Fensome was happy with the performance and drive from players both starting and being substituted on.
Fenners said: “I think it was a good game for us, a proper game of football.
“It was a tough team to play against. They’ve got some big lads, they put excellent balls into our box through free-kicks and corners.
“They scored from one which was disappointing, but I thought the lads then stood up to it from then on. I thought we stood firm.
“We said to the lads that we had the belief in them that they could go on and score.
“Yes, the sending off makes a difference, but straight after the sending off we got the goal and then we kept the momentum going.”
Speaking about the substitutions made, he added: “I said before the game that some of them were probably unlucky they didn’t start but the team which won the week before deserved the chance to play again.
“We said they would have their opportunity to come on but because of the injuries early on in the game a couple of them got on really early and they put themselves about.
“They’ve put themselves into contention again for next week’s team and that’s what it’s all about.”
Goalscorer Tarry was also happy with his contribution towards the win.
He said: “It was fantastic. I’m glad I helped the team get a win and also glad I got a goal. I’m buzzing.
“It’s boosted my confidence quite a lot. I was happy to play today and start, and I can’t wait for the next game.”
PNE line-up: Davis, Blake, Pasiek (Goldsmith, 80), Kamara (Horan, 6), Wilkinson, Brindle (McGhee, 29), Tarry, Carroll, Rodriguez-Gentile, T.Mawene, Nelson (Khan, 80). Subs not used: Stowell.