REPORT: Wanderers U18s 2 PNE U18s 0

Hogan celebration Preston

The Youth Team kept alive their hopes of winning the EFL Youth Alliance with victory over the current leaders.

Goals from captain Sean Hogan and in-form frontman Daeshon Lawrence gave the Whites the win they needed to get within two points of Preston and take their challenge to the final game.

Julian Darby’s side goes to Rochdale on Saturday-week for their last fixture and could still claim top spot if North End, Morecambe and Wrexham all drop points.

Midfielder Harrison Rice made a welcome return after seven months out in place of the injured Emile Oliver for the must-win game against a North End side which recently won the Youth Alliance League Cup.


Lawrence goal Preston

Preston had also beaten Wanderers in the final to lift the Lancashire FA Youth Cup but Darby’s youngsters got their revenge as they also avenged a league loss at Preston earlier in the season.

After a tight opening spell Wanderers went ahead of 20 minutes as James Westwood picked up yet another assist as his free-kick was powerfully headed home by Hogan.

Both sides then enjoyed spells of pressure and it took a fine save from Jack Dallimore to keep the Whites ahead at the break. 

Harry Leigh went close to doubling the lead when he tried his luck only a minute into the second half with a volley which flew just over the top.


Lawrence celebration Preston

But the second goal did just before the hour mark as Wanderers made it 2-0 to close in on the points.

Lawrence once again found the back of the net to continue his fine as he met Rice’s with a shot on the turn to add to his tally.

Strike partner David Abimbola was then denied a possible third goal by an offside flag but Wanderers – who also gave a late run-out to Oliver Smith following a lengthy injury absence – had done enough to gain a vital 16th win of an impressive campaign which could yet end with silverware.

Wanderers: Dallimore, Westwood (Smith 8’), Rice, Grayson, Hogan, Toole, Irwin, Leigh, Lawrence, Fleury (Lewis 69), Abimbola. Substitutes: Barlow, Nuttall, Ritchie.

Report and pictures: Ben Livingstone

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