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Match Reports

Match Report: PNE U18s 1 Hartlepool United U18s 0

25 February 2024

Match Reports

Match Report: PNE U18s 1 Hartlepool United U18s 0

25 February 2024

Preston North End U18s secured a spot in the northern final of the Youth Alliance Cup after a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Hartlepool United at Springfields.

The only goal of the game came through Max Wilson in the second minute, and that was enough to seal progression.

Andy Fensome’s side started on the front foot as it took only 90 seconds for the young Lilywhites to open the scoring. First-year scholar Wilson was calm and composed in front of goal and was able to finish the chance created so early on.

The Lilywhites, who are now undefeated in their last eight games in all competitions, created many chances with Ethan Eccleston putting a brilliant cross into the box but the lack of white shirts in the penalty area meant that no one was able to get on the end of it.

Defensively, North End were spectacular, sweeping up any opportunities Hartlepool United created. In the 39th minute, goalkeeper Li-Bau Stowell was able to get down low rapidly to prevent the visitors levelling before the break.

Goalscorer Wilson was forced to come off at half-time through a minor injury and was replaced by Theo Mawene.

With one foot in the final, PNE U18s continued to produce a number of chances in the second half. Notably, Ellis Horan’s shot from distance was saved by the ‘keeper and punched out for a corner.

Just after the hour mark, Stowell was involved in the action once again, as he was able to keep out the Pools’ shot on target to keep his side ahead and maintain his clean sheet.

With 15 minutes to go, the home side were unable to take an opportunity to double their lead after Ellis Horan’s shot ricocheted off the woodwork and back out again.

That wasn’t to cost North End, though, as the final whistle blew and progression into the northern final of the Youth Alliance Cup was confirmed.

Grimsby Town and Mansfield Town will meet in the other northern semi-final on Saturday 30th March, and the winner of the following game will then meet Portsmouth in the national final.

PNE line-up: Stowell, Blake, Brindle, Stringfellow (Carroll, 60), Wilkinson, McGhee, Eccleston (Goldsmith, 90+4), Kamara, Rodriguez-Gentile (Garrigan, 90+4), Wilson (T.Mawene, 45), Horan. Subs not used: Davis.


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