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Discussion in 'Preston' started by themaclad, Sep 13, 2017.
Big offers to BD & DJ but do they match what the Old Firms and German Bundesliga can offer?
Fisher in possible trouble for his nut grabbing exploits
PNE U18 2 Salford City U18 1
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The youth side extended their winning league start at home to four games as they beat Salford City 2-1.
Vaughn Green’s opener gave North End an early lead in the North West Youth Alliance clash at UCLan Sports Arena.
Josh Seary netted his second goal in as many games after the break, and despite the visitors pulling one back, the young Lilywhites stayed resolute to secure all three points.
There were five changes to the line-up that started the last game against Shrewsbury Town.
Kyi Nicholson and Lewis Coulton came in at right back and left back respectively, while Mikey O’Neil, Noah Mawene and Green slotted in to the XI too.
It took just six minutes for the hosts to go ahead when Nicholson found Mawene on the edge of the box, who tapped the ball to Green and the forward turned onto his left foot before firing low into the bottom right corner.
The goalscorer could’ve bagged again five minutes later as he powered through the challenge of two defenders in the box, but he didn’t connect with the ball in the way he would’ve liked and his shot went wide.
Oliver Lombard’s first action between the sticks came when he had to tip a long-range effort over the bar.
Green was alert in the box at the other end to steal the ball off a defender before shifting it onto his right foot and curling an effort just wide.
He came close once more when Bennett made waves down the left flank and fired a low cross just inches in front of his outstretched right boot.
Salford had the ball in the net shortly after, but the flag was raised when the No.9 slotted home from an offside position after the ball had rebounded off the post.
Bennett had a free-kick saved and Mawene prodded wide from the resulting corner when the ball fell to him in the box as the half-time whistle was blown.
Two changes were made by PNE for the second 45 as Seary and Levi Lewis replaced O’Neil and Green.
Another Bennett free-kick went closer than the last as he struck the post soon after the restart.
The woodwork was on North End’s side the next time it was hit though, when the two substitutes combined to double the lead.
Lewis capitalised on a mistake in the Salford backline and put a ball across the box for Seary to bundle in off the upright.
The visitors looked to hit back straight away with a set piece in a promising position, but the attempt was sent over the bar.
A third change saw Finlay Cross-Adair taking the place of Mawene in the attacking line.
The youngster was immediately into the action, cutting in on his left foot and shooting into the ‘keeper’s gloves.
With 12 minutes left, Salford found their goal as the forward jinked his way into the box and fired low into the bottom left corner.
Dana Amaral came on for the closing exchanges with Lewis LeighDooley On A Hard-Fought Win
Salford pushed for an equaliser and nearly found it when a curling effort whistled just past the post.
Ben Dooley was on hand to block superbly in added time to prevent a shot heading towards goal, and that proved to be the final action of a hard-fought contest.
Nick Harrison was impressed with how his side dealt with the wet and windy conditions to make it back-to-back wins in the North West Youth Alliance league.
“The weather played its part in terms of making it difficult to play and at times, the wind got hold of the ball and made it tricky, but I thought the players kept trying to do the right thing,” he said.
“Despite the conditions, I thought there were some really good spells where we passed the ball and created some good chances, so I’m pleased with the way the lads played and obviously it’s always good to get a win and two on the bounce.”
The U18s looked set to pick up their first clean sheet since the second game of the season but lost it late on, which the Academy manager put down to a lapse in concentration.
Harrison added: “I thought it was going to be, but I think we just lost our focus and made a couple of mistakes which led to their goal.
“Then we had to deal with a bit of pressure because when you’re winning a game 2-1 with five minutes or so to go, the opposition are going to come at you.
“I thought we weathered the storm and managed the game really well at the end, but if we’d took our chances throughout the game, we could’ve made it a lot easier for ourselves.”
Harrison changed half of the outfield players from the previous starting XI and was happy with how those alterations played out.
“That’s been the story of our season – we’ve made a lot of changes game by game, whether that’s down to injuries or players being out on loan or not available, and I think that’s the nature of youth football as well,” he said.
“We want to make sure that we give players the opportunities where we can, and I thought we did that today.
“All the players coming in slotted in well and that’ll continue until the end of the season.”
PNE line-up: Lombard; Nicholson, Nevin, Blanchard, Coulton; Dooley, Leigh (Amaral, 79); O'Neil (Seary, 46), Mawene (Cross-Adair, 73), Bennett; Green (Lewis, 49).
Subs not used: Duggan.
Referee: Mr E Bell.
Boro game now kicks off at 7
Fisher 3 game ban for ball grabbing
Bolton Wanderers U18 3 PNE U18 2
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A tough away day for Preston North End U18s ended in a narrow 3-2 defeat to Bolton Wanderers.
Goals from Mikey O’Neill and Kyi Nicholson were not enough to secure the three points for North End as the hosts edged a five-goal thriller.
Academy manager Nick Harrison made three changes to the side that beat Salford City last weekend; Josh Seary, Jacob Slater and Levi Lewis coming into the side, replacing Harry Nevin, Ben Dooley and Lewis Coulton in the line-up – the latter later appearing among the first team substitutes at Vicarage Road, alongside fellow scholar Jacob HollaDate Confirmed For Lincoln City FA Youth Cup Tie
Dooley, who has captained the U18s for much of the campaign, was also unavailable after travelling with the first team for their game against Watford.
Lilywhites goalkeeper Oliver Lombard was called into action within the opening minutes of the game, producing a fine double save to keep the scoreline at 0-0.
On what was a wet and windy day at the Eddie Davies Academy, both sides battled for possession, with neither team able to grab a strong foot hold of the game in the opening 15 minutes.
Bolton began to look more threatening as the half went on, and on 18 minutes, they found themselves in front as the ball squeezed past Lombard in the Lilywhites goal.
Moments later, the Trotters came close to doubling their lead, only to see the looping header sail over the crossbar.
North End’s defence was called into action on 32 minutes, not once, but twice as Josh Seary made a crucial block before his defensive partner Nicholson ensured the ball stayed out of the net.
As PNE looked to be heading into the half-time break behind, Mikey O’Neill smashed the ball home from close range, leaving the Bolton No.1 with no chance, after a delightful pass from Nicholson to create the opportunity.
Half-time saw Harrison make his first change of the game when Oliver Lombard was replaced by Declyn Duggan between the sticks.
Harrison’s team talk during the interval seemed to have worked as PNE started the brighter of the two sides, Vaughn Green unlucky to see his effort flash just wide of the post.
But unfortunately for the visitors, it was Bolton who regained the lead on 55 minutes against the run of play, causing frustration for the PNE backline after their good start to the half.
Finlay Cross-Adair and Dana Amaral were introduced to the action just after the hour of mark, in place of Noah Mawene and Aaron Bennett.
Despite the changes, it was Bolton who got the next goal of the game, when a corner kick was headed home from close range to double the hosts’ lead.
PNE responded positively to the setback and almost found a way back into the game through Nicholson, whose effort deflected wide for a corner before being cleared.
The game had become slightly stretched in the final ten minutes, as Wanderers almost made it a four, only to be denied by the crossbar.
As the game entered the final five minutes of play, North End were given a lifeline as Kyi Nicholson coolly converted from inside the box, lifting the ball over the onrushing ‘keeper to ensure the visitors weren’t going down without a fight.
Despite late pressure from the young Lilywhites it was not enough to grab a late point at the Eddie Davies Academy.
Speaking after the game, Nick Harrison was full of praise for his younger players’ performance despite the result.
“In terms of the performance, I thought it was good, especially the younger players, as we rested a few players today and had quite a few of the senior players missing as they travelled with the first team.
“It was two good teams with both sides trying to win the game, its unfortunate we haven’t been able to come out on top on this occasion, but overall, I thought we did okay.”
Harrison insisted that despite the result, his group of players will have taken something important from the game.
“With a number of the senior players not available today or being rested, it was a good chance for some of the younger lads to come in and play against a really good opposition.
“I think the best way for players to improve is to play against good players, so I definitely think they will have learnt something from the game.
“We had some good chances today and maybe should have scored more, but the main positive to take is the minutes on the pitch for some of the younger lads who haven’t featured as much this season and their development.”
Preston North End U18s travel to Lincoln City in the third round of the FA Youth Cup in their next game, with a 7pm kick-off at the LNER Stadium on Friday 4th December.
PNE line-up: Lombard (Duggan, 46); Nicholson, Seary, Blanchard, Slater; Leigh, Mawene (Cross-Adair, 60); O’Neil, Bennett (Amaral, 65), Lewis; Green.
Subs not used: Huddart, Rodwell-Grant.
How to ruin Christmas, Sky showing our home game aganst Brizzle 18/12/20 8pm
Contact extension imminent
PNE U18 3 Walsall U18 0
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Preston North End U18s swept aside ten-man Walsall thanks to a Joe Rodwell-Grant finish and a Lewis Leigh brace.
After an even first half, it looked set to be level between the two sides at the break, but the Walsall goalkeeper was sent off for handling outside the box in added time, and Rodwell-Grant scored when the resulting free-kick rebounded to him.
Leigh netted his first shortly after the restart when he fired into the top left corner, and then he made it three with a low shot after he had been played in by Rodwell-Grant to wrap up the win.
Nick Harrison made five changes to the team from the last game against Bolton, with Lewis Coulton, Ben Dooley, Harry Huddart, Rodwell-Grant, and Jacob Holland-Wilkinson coming into the starting line-up.
Both sides had chances in a hotly contested start to the game, with Walsall’s No.10 shooting narrowly wide of the post and Holland-Wilkinson blasting over the bar at either end of the pitch.
Oliver Lombard was out smartly minutes later when a through ball nearly found the Saddlers’ striker; the PNE shot-stopper just got to the ball first to prevent a shot.
Walsall could’ve taken the lead when a ball across the box found the left winger at the back post, but his attempt went high over the bar when he should’ve got it on target.
Another chance went begging for the visitors when the defensive midfielder charged forward from the centre spot and toe-poked wide on the edge of the box.
North End were next to have a golden opportunity to go ahead when Coulton put a teasing ball right across the face of goal, which both Rodwell-Grant and Leigh were inches away from tapping in.
A crazy end to the first 45 saw Walsall’s No.1 sent off after he’d misjudged the bounce of the ball and saved it with his outstretched hand outside of the 18-yard box, with the referee blowing his whistle as Rodwell-Grant’s shot was heading into the net.
That proved to be inconsequential though, as the frontman tapped home after the substitute ‘keeper had parried Leigh’s free-kick to Rodwell-Grant, who gave his side a half-time lead.
That lead was doubled just four minutes into the second half when Leigh found himself with time and space on the left side of the box, from where he powered a shot into the top corner.
The scorer of the second then had a set piece from a similar position which was saved well.
The young Lilywhites kept attacking the ten men and should’ve extended their advantage when first Blanchard’s shot in the box was blocked, and then Holland-Wilkinson blazed over from close-range.
However, it wasn’t long until the third goal came – Rodwell-Grant tapped the ball around the corner into the path of the on-rushing Leigh, who took a touch into the box and placed a strike into the bottom left corner.
The first change for the hosts saw Leigh, who had picked up a knock from a tackle, make way for Kian Taylor.
Walsall looked for a way back into the game and a cross from the left flank was headed only narrowly over Lombard’s bar.
As North End looked for another, Rodwell-Grant spun his defender well and drove into the box, but he opted to pull the ball back instead of shooting and it was cleared by the visitors.
With five minutes left Lombard saved brilliantly from an edge of the box free-kick, diving to his right and palming the strike away to protect the clean sheet.
Bradley Kelly and Dan Mahaffy entered the fray for the final few minutes, replacing Blanchard and Noah Mawene, as North End saw out the win to take all three points in the North West Youth Alliance league.
Not only did the final whistle bring a valuable win, but also the youth side’s first clean sheet since the second game of the season in September.
Speaking after the game, Academy manager Harrison said: “I thought it was a very good performance and obviously it’s a very good result given that we’ve got a clean sheet.
“It’s a positive step in the right direction. Walsall had a couple of chances at the end, which teams will always have, and we defended well and thankfully stopped them scoring.
“[Playing against ten men] is a bit of a different challenge and young players can sometimes lose their concentration, but the fact we kept the clean sheet goes to show the players have done really well with their focus and keeping on top of the game.”
Having had a man advantage for a whole half, Harrison did feel like his side could’ve added to the two goals they scored after the break.
“We could’ve scored more than three today, to be honest, we had a number of chances, especially in the second half,” he said.
“The positives are that we created really good opportunities, whether that was through individual play or the team passing the ball really well.
“It’s the hardest part of the game putting the ball in the back of the net, so maybe it was a little bit of composure or a bit of quality in front of goal that we just didn’t quite have at certain times.”
The U18s play their final game before a three-week Christmas break next Saturday, making the journey to Tranmere.
Looking ahead to the game, Harrison said: “It’s the same messages that we’ve given the players throughout the season so far.
“We want players to work hard and work for each other, and then show their quality.
“Regardless of the result, first and foremost that’s what we want, and I think in terms of the players we’ve got in this group, if they do that then we will get a positive result.”
PNE line-up: Lombard; Nicholson, Huddart, Blanchard (Kelly, 89), Coulton; Leigh (Taylor, 67), Dooley; Green, Mawene (Mahaffy, 89), Holland-Wilkinson; Rodwell-Grant.
Subs not used: Barry.
Referee: Mr P Fuller.
Preston North End centre half Paul Huntington has signed an extension to his contract until the summer of 2022.
The Lilywhites’ No.23, who joined the club on a free transfer in the summer of 2012, will take his time at the club to ten years with this new deal.
Since signing on a free transfer from Yeovil Town, he has gone on to make 292 appearances and is closing in on becoming the 26th player to play 300 or more competitive games for the club in its 140-year history, where he will join the likes of Alan Kelly Senior, Sir Tom Finney and most recently, current team-mate Paul Gallagher.
In those games he has also contributed 18 goals, including the second in the club’s 2015 League One Play-Off Final victory over Swindon Town at Wembley.
Speaking after completing the paperwork, the 33-year-old defender said: “I’m obviously delighted to sign, it’s a club that I have been at for a long time now and next year will make it my tenth year.
“It’s a very special club to me and I think everybody knows what it means to me being a part of this club and this group of lads as well.
“I’m delighted with it and I’m looking forward to cracking on and doing as well as we can this season.”
Rudd has operation