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Match Reports

Match Report: PNE Reserves 1 Wrexham 2

17 October 2023

Match Reports

Match Report: PNE Reserves 1 Wrexham 2

17 October 2023

Preston North End reserves were beaten 2-1 by Wrexham in the opening match of the Central League Cup campaign.

Theo Mawene was fouled inside the box just 25 seconds in at Springfields and Callum Havard gave a young Lilywhites side a very early lead.

Wrexham then turned the game on its head in the second half courtesy of quickfire goals from Rio Owen and Callum Edwards to take the three points.

In windy conditions, North End made a blistering start to the match, going straight at the visitors from kick-off and Mawene made his way into the area just 25 seconds in, before being tripped for an early penalty. Havard – who was involved in the build-up to the foul – stepped up and sent the ‘keeper the wrong way in the final second of the opening minute.

PNE straight away went for their second but Wrexham just about weathered what was a ten-minute storm before growing into the game.

Owen soon had a couple of decent opportunities for the Welsh side, the first of which saw a North End deflection send his effort just wide, while the second was struck off target.

The influential Mawene was causing plenty of problems for the visitors and slotted a good ball through for Charlie Goldsmith to run on to, and his powerful strike flew inches wide.

Less than a minute later, Mawene had a go himself from 20 yards, but he also narrowly missed the target.

North End took a one-goal lead into the break which could have been cancelled out just after the hour mark when Callum Edwards’ cross was met at the back stick by Tom Kelly, whose volley was blocked inside the six-yard box.

Wrexham did have their leveller in the 67th minute, though, as Owen scored from the penalty spot, following a foul from Peter Critchley as he looked to clear a corner at the front post.

Five minutes on, substitute Ayden Garrigan’s cross was headed goalwards by Theo Carroll and collected by ‘keeper Liam Hall who started a quick counter attack, which was finished off at the other end by Edwards to give Wrexham the lead.

Harry Ashfield had a good chance to score a third for his side 13 minutes from time, but his tame header was kept out by Tommy Davis.

PNE searched for a late leveller through the likes of Dylan Gairns and Isac Khan, but it wasn’t to arrive and Wrexham left with the three points.

Speaking after the game, coach John Welsh said: “I thought we played well in the first half. We asked them to play forward a bit more and work the patterns which we’ve been working on, and to be fair I think we did.

“Then the second half the quality dropped and the game just became a bit scrappy, which didn’t really suit us.

“We made a slight mistake for the penalty and then they get us on the counter for the winner, so there’s things to look at which we can improve upon moving forwards.

“I think if we’d have kept doing what we did in the first half in the second then it could have been a comfortable win, but we made it hard for ourselves, and fair play to them for turning it around in the second half.”

PNE line-up: Davis; Critchley (Forwood, 80), Wilkinson, McGhee; Tarry (Garrigan, 62), Wilson, Carroll, T.Mawene (Stringfellow, 67), Khan; Havard (Nolan, 80), Goldsmith (Gairns, 80).

Attendance: 49.

Referee: Mr K Hurn.

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