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Kick off 19:30 (UK)

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02 May 2023 Venue County Ground Attendance

Kick off 19:30 (UK)

Accrington Stanley
1 - 2
Preston North End
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Match Reports

REPORT: Stanley 1-2 Preston North End

Cross-Adair's second half brace clinches Lancashire FA Youth Cup trophy for John Welsh's side

2 May 2023

Finlay Cross-Adair's second half brace at the County Ground, Leyland, saw Preston North End clinch this season's Lancashire FA Youth Cup trophy as Ged Brannan and Scott Rogers' Accrington Stanley Under-18s side suffered a 2-1 defeat; despite Owen Devonport's close-range header on 83 minutes.

The Reds, who had already beaten both Blackpool and Burnley on their way to the final, made two changes from Saturday's draw with Oldham Athletic, as Aaron Pickles and Harley Lawton came into the starting XI.

Preston Match Report 1.JPG

Brannan and Rogers' side were almost gifted an early lead in Leyland when defender Kian Best flicked a header towards his own net, but James Pradic did extremely well to tip the ball out of play for a corner.

It was then the turn of Stanley's goalkeeper to perform a heroic save, as 18-year-old Max Clayton executed a stunning diving stop in the ninth minute to keep out Kaedyn Kamara's long-range effort at goal.

The Reds continued to ask questions of North End's number one in an end-to-end first half, with low shots at goal from Lawton, Calvin Harper and Emerich Poilly all denied well by the Wales youth international.

Preston Match Report 2.JPG

However; the game's opener came 10 minutes after the break when defender Finlay Wallbank was allowed to surge forward unchallenged and then play in Cross-Adair, who fired across goal to break the deadlock.

Preston looked to have doubled their lead in the 76th minute, but both Jacob Slater and Josh Seary were thwarted by the woodwork; with referee Ethan Murray then pointing to the spot after a foul on the former.

Cross-Adair stepped up and made no mistake from 12 yards, as the 18-year-old drilled his effort into the roof of the net to grab his fourth goal against Stanley across Under-18s and Under-23s levels this season.

Preston Match Report 3.JPG

John Welsh's side were reduced to 10 men three minutes later when Best was shown a second yellow card for a trip on Alex Henderson, with Devonport then heading home a Lewis Trickett cross to halve the deficit.

The Reds continued to throw everything at North End's defence in search of an equaliser, but a Poilly shot was cleared off the line and Devonport volleyed wide from close range in the closing stages of the game.

Preston Match Report 4.JPG

Next up for Stanley is a home tie against Salford City on Thursday afternoon, 2pm kick-off; with Brannan and Rogers' side aware that anything but a win will see Blackpool win this season's Youth Alliance League.

Preston Match Report 5.JPG

Accrington Stanley

Clayton, Trickett, Pickles, Poilly, Harper, Devonport, Henderson, Kelly (Procter 85'), Lawton (Gough 59'), Newton and Smith.

Subs Not Used: Rogerson, Hall and Young.

Yellow Cards: Newton and Devonport.

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