Preston North End U19s returned to the top of the table with a thrilling 5-2 home victory against Wrexham Academy.
North End raced into a three-goal lead inside the opening half hour as Theo Carroll, Kitt Nelson and Kaedyn Kamara got on the scoresheet.
Wrexham scored twice themselves in the second period, but goals after each of those from Tom Wilkinson and Felipe Rodriguez-Gentile kept PNE in the ascendency.
After defeat in last week’s game against league leaders Morecambe, North End’s U19s showed great character to pull off a convincing win at Springfields.
It was a superb start from the Lilywhites as they threatened early on and were able to break through in the 14th minute via Carroll, who was calm and composed in front of goal and slotted past the ‘keeper.
It then took only seven minutes for North End to produce another brilliant piece of play to double the lead. A genius bit of skill from Rodriguez-Gentile saw him nutmeg the defender and he then carried the ball into the box and squared it to the feet of Nelson. Nelson didn’t panic and converted the low cross into the back of the net.
Goals continued to come for the home side, as captain Kamara danced through the defence and released a thunderbolt of a strike which flew past the goalkeeper to make it three.
The drama continued into the second half as Wrexham managed to pull the first of their two goals back in the 57th minute with a shot that went just past Tommy Davis.
Ten minutes later, Brindle’s exceptional free-kick into the box arrived perfectly at the head of Wilkinson, who smashed the ball home, restoring the three-goal advantage.
The 70th minute struck and so did Wrexham as they were able to grab their second goal of the day placed some pressure on to Andy Fensome’s side for the last 20 minutes of the game.
Jubilation came just two minutes later, though, for Rodriguez-Gentile as the skilful No.9 beat several players within the box which gave him the opportunity to shoot and score to round off the victory.
Speaking after the game, Fenners said: “After the first ten minutes, I thought we ran the first half. I thought the players took on board the information, they defended when they needed to defend, secured the ball when they needed to secure the ball and we countered really well at times.
“That little bit of quality got us the goals that we needed. I thought all over everybody played their part today.
“I thought they worked their socks off in the first half. The attitude was brilliant and the commitment from them was really good, and when we needed the quality, we scored the goals at the right moment.”
Carroll, who scored the first goal to set the pace for his side, said: “I’m really happy and I thought we played really well today as a team and took our chances, which is what got us the win.
“We won all the tackles and won all the first and second balls, which helped us get the victory.”
PNE line-up: Davis, Blake, Pasiek (Muir, 83), Kamara, Wilkinson, Brindle, Garrigan (Nolan, 68), Carroll, Rodriguez-Gentile, T.Mawene (Gairns, 54), Nelson. Subs not used: Robinson, Ifezue.