Report from the Saturday home game last weekendUniversity of Sunderland Journalism student Mark Donnelly was at last weekend's U18 home game and he brings us this report ...
Carlisle United’s Youth Team lost their 100% record in the Youth Alliance Cup after defeat to Preston North End.
The Blues started brightly and opened the scoring through Jack Egan after only nine minutes.
But four goals in twenty second half minutes, courtesy of braces from Michael Howard and Harry Garstang, handed victory to the visitors.
Victories over Hartlepool United and York City had put United in a strong position to qualify from their group, but they were faced with a Preston side still seeking qualification themselves.
Darren Edmondson’s side were handed a boost ahead of kick-off as Jordan Holt returned to captain the side after a spell out with injury.
And after weathering some early North End pressure, the Young Blues took the lead as Luke Lloyd threaded in Egan who took the ball in his stride before slotting home.
There were chances for a second goal too, with Jordan Holt shooting wide at the far post before a slick move saw Cameron Salkeld tee up Max Cowburn for a volley which grazed the outside of the post.
Preston were still looking dangerous, however, with stopper Morgan Bacon reacting well to parry Melle Muelensteen’s drive from 10 yards out.
United had a golden chance to extend their lead before the break and it came via the lively Egan who cut inside and managed to get a shot away, only to see his curler come back off the crossbar with the goalkeeper beaten.
A double change at the break proved the catalyst for North End who pressed forward straight from the restart.
Bacon was called into action early on as he did well to get a hand behind Tom Stead’s powerful header that looked bound for the top corner, before he showed great bravery to claim the ball at the feet of substitute Michael Howard after his original shot was blocked by Goldthorpe.
But Bacon was powerless to prevent the equaliser as the energetic Howard cut in from the left before drilling a fierce effort towards goal - the United stopper only able to parry the ball onto his bar before seeing it bounce over the line.
This began a spell of sustained pressure for the visitors who then took the lead with just over 10 minutes remaining.
Howard was again involved as he met Dylan Davidson’s cross at the far post and headed back across for Harry Garstang to bundle home.
And the same player added Preston’s third two minutes later - Davidson again the provider as he picked out Garstang with a fine delivery which the striker glanced home.
And there was still time for a fourth in injury time as Howard reacted quickest to poke home after Bacon had saved his initial shot.
United: Bacon; Goldthorpe, Taylor (Hodgson 46), Hutchinson, Olsen; Watson (Dixon 87), Holt; Cowburn, Salkeld, Egan; Lloyd (Kerr 72). Subs - Brockbank, Ashton.
Goal: Egan (9)
Bookings: Salkeld (57), Olsen (68)