REPORT: PNE Reserves 2-0 Wanderers B

Nelson Khumbeni B Team Preston

A second-half double from wing-back Josh Seary saw the B Team start their Central League campaign with defeat at Preston.

Seary slotted the ball into the bottom just after the break and then coolly finished again 11 minutes from the end to give the hosts the points at Euxton.

North End included a number of senior players, including defenders Greg Cunningham, Patrick Bauer and summer signing Jack Watmough.

They limited Wanderers’ opportunities, although Matt Craddock’s side had a couple of decent sighters of goal to potentially get something from the contest before North End ultimately ran out deserved winners.

The first of the Whites’ openings came from a Gez Sithole free-kick 10 minutes in, which the frontman struck well but close enough to Dai Cornell for the Preston keeper to make a save.

Finn Lockett B Team Preston

And after Wanderers should have made more of a counter-attack to punish Preston, Sithole went close again from Wanderers’ best move of the first half.

Craddock’s men moved the ball well for the lively Finn Lockett to deliver an excellent cross which Sithole was just unable to steer on target at full stretch.

That came in the Whites’ best spell as they grew into the game after North End had started brightly with Felipe Rodriguez-Gentile heading over and Wales international Ben Woodburn lifting another effort just over the top.

Wanderers’ keeper Luke Hutchinson was only worked once before the break as he saved an effort from Woodburn, who has come off the bench three times at Championship level so far this season to add to his first-team record with Liverpool, Sheffield United and Blackpool.

But he was a busier man in a second half largely dominated by North End.

Hutchinson saved superbly from Noah Mawene and then made another smart stop to deny Rodriguez-Gentile, with Charlie Hayes-Green reacting quickly to reach the rebound and clear the danger.

Trevon Bryan B Team Preston

But Wanderers weren't out of the game and went close to going level through substitute Trevon Bryan, who added to the Whites’ threat after coming off the bench.

The striker brought a sharp save out of ex-Ipswich and Peterborough keeper Cornell with his first touch as Wanderers looked to pounce on the break.

A goal then might have changed the momentum but Seary’s second of the afternoon killed off any prospect of a fightback, despite another late effort from Bryan which was blocked in front of goal as Wanderers were denied any reward.

Wanderers B: Hutchinson; Halford, Yoro (Toure 74), Hayes-Green (Inwood 88); Matheson, Lockett (Pettifer 66), Khumbeni, Tweedley, Conway; Sithole, Andreucci (Bryan 66). Substitutes: Sharples.


PNE: Cornell; Whatmough (Horan, 62), Bauer, Cunningham (McGhee, 83); Seary, Taylor, Leigh (Wilson, 78), Pasiek; Woodburn (Nelson, 62), Mawene; Rodriguez-Gentile. Substitutes: Davis.

Pictures: Ian Robinson PNE

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