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Kick off 19:00 (UK)

18 February 2020 Venue Ewood Park Attendance

Kick off 19:00 (UK)

Blackburn Rovers U18
4 - 2
Preston North End U18

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Match Previews

FAYC preview: Rovers Under-18s v Preston North End Under-18s

A look ahead to tonight's big FA Youth Cup tie at Ewood Park against the Lilywhites

18 February 2020

A place in the quarter-finals stage of the FA Youth Cup is at stake as Rovers Under-18s welcome Preston North End to Ewood Park for tonight's East Lancashire derby.

Rovers comfortably beat Newport County in round three on home turf before edging out Charlton Athletic to reach this stage of the coveted competition.

Another night under the lights awaits this evening when PNE make the short trip to Ewood having triumphed over Oxford United in the last round at Deepdale, and knocking out Bristol City in round three.

The winners of tonight's tie will host Arsenal, and Rovers Under-18s boss Mike Sheron says he may have a selection dilemma for the contest.

“We’ve had four or five lads injured for most of the season, which has been disappointing," he admitted.

“One or two of those lads would definitely have been considered to play in our FA Youth Cup side.

“But that’s created an opportunity for other people and other people have come in and done particularly well.

“We’ll probably add one or two Under-16s to the squad as well, which we hope will improve us, so it’s about providing opportunities for people and they’ve got to try and take it.”

Jordan Eastham is likely to keep his place in goal having featured in the two earlier round, whilst Dan Pike, who has impressed in his outings in the Under-23s this term, is expected to remain at right back.

Further forward, Sheron must decide whether to keep faith with Brandon Lonsdale in attack, with Chanka Zimba also an option to play up front.

Having scored goals in each of the last two rounds, Sam Burns will be hoping that lightning strikes a third time, especially after scoring the winner against Charlton.

As for the opposition, speaking ahead of the game, North End youth chief Andy Fensome admits it's a tie he's looking forward to.

"They are Category One and they’ve always produced some good players," he admitted to the official Preston North End website.

“It’s a really tough test for the players and hopefully they know what to expect. We’ve given them some information over the last few days and it’s important that they go and put it into practice.

“We’ve played against their U17s earlier on in the season but we don’t necessarily get to play the categories that they’re in. They obviously play against good teams week in week out.

“It’s an opportunity for the boys to go and play a game somewhere different, under lights, and it’s a good stadium to go and play at and a good opportunity.

“It’s always nice for the lads to have obviously their families there but the more spectators that get there to get to see them is good for them.”

Kick-off at Ewood Park is at 7pm tonight. All supporters are welcome. Admission is £4 for adults and £2 for concessions. Cash only at the turnstiles.

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Match Reports

FAYC Report: Rovers U18s 4-2 Preston U18s

Rovers youngsters twice come from behind to defeat 10-man Preston 4-2 at Ewood Park

18 February 2020

Rovers Under-18s twice came from behind to book their place in the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup courtesy of a 4-2 victory over Preston North End at Ewood Park.

The visitors took an early lead when Ethan Walker fired past Jordan Eastham inside eight minutes, before D’Margio Wright-Phillips levelled just before the break.

Preston again took the lead when captain Tyrhys Dolan tapped home the rebound after Walker’s shot was saved, before the turning point arrived when defender Ben Dooley was shown a straight red card.

And Rovers made the numerical advantage count with two carbon-copy goals in quick succession, as Jared Harlock supplied corners from the right for first Jalil Saadi and then substitute Zak Gilsenan to head home.

Sam Burns kept up his record of scoring in every round with a clinical strike deep into added time and Rovers will now be at home to Arsenal in the last eight of the competition.

Ahead of the game, Mike Sheron made three changes to the side that defeated Charlton Athletic 1-0 in the last round.

Under-16s duo Georgie Gent and Harry Leonard, as well as new loan signing Wright-Phillips, came in for their first starts in the competition, with Lenni Rae Cirino, Brandon Lonsdale and Gilsenan dropping to the bench.

After a cagey opening from both teams, it was Preston who made the early breakthrough. Just moments after firing a free-kick high and wide, Walker picked up possession in space on the right and after cutting inside, he bent a left-foot shot into the far corner.

Rovers almost responded immediately, but Leonard’s shot from an acute angle could only find the side-netting.

The hosts went close again on 21 minutes when Leonard fizzed over a cross from the right and Sam Burns’ first-time shot deflected behind.

On 35 minutes, Walker’s well-struck free-kick went into the arms of Jordan Eastham and straight down the other end, Wright-Phillips centred from the right, but Burns mistimed his kick in front of goal.

Rovers were beginning to get on top and threatened again shortly after when Harlock played in Leonard, who couldn’t quite get his shot away.

The equaliser eventually arrived on 40 minutes when a hopeful ball forward saw Harlock get there ahead of the Preston keeper and he set the ball back for Wright-Phillips to calmly stroke his shot into the empty net.

On the stroke of half-time, Leonard saw a shot blocked and Harlock blazed the follow-up over the bar.

The first chance of the second half went Rovers’ way, as Wright-Phillips cut in from the right, but fired over left-footed.

A minute later and Preston regained the lead. Walker’s shot from the edge of the area was parried by Eastham and Dolan netted the rebound.

Rovers came close to an equaliser on 63 minutes when Gent delivered a cross into the area and Harlock’s lopping header was plucked out of the air by Jimmy Corcoran.

The visitors were reduced to 10 men with 20 minutes remaining when Dooley was shown a straight red card for raising his hands to Gent and Rovers made a double change soon after, with Lonsdale and Gilsenan replacing Leonard and Wright-Phillips.

And just five minutes later, Rovers were back on level terms. Burns’ shot went out for a corner, Harlock delivered the ball into the box and Saadi’s header ended up in the roof of the net.

Three minutes later and Rovers took the lead for the first time in the game. Harlock again sent over a corner from the right and Gilsenan planted a free header past the keeper.

The visitors twice went close to an equaliser right at the death, as Brian McManus’ shot on the turn went just past the post, before Walker saw a shot parried to safety.

As Preston pushed players forward, Burns wrapped up the win in the 96th minute, smashing a shot past Corcoran after good work by Luke Brennan down the left.

ROVERS: Eastham, Pike, Saadi, Boyomo, Gent (Cirino 86), Whitehall (c), Harlock, Wright-Phillips (Gilsenan 73), Brennan, Leonard (Lonsdale 73), Burns.
Subs not used: Dowling, Wyatt, Weston, Durrant.

Goals: Wright-Phillips (40), Saadi (78), Gilsenan (81), Burns (90+6)

Booked: Boyomo (34)

PRESTON: Corcoran, Dooley, McFayden, Nolan, Williams (Blanchard 90+4), Earl, Walker, McManus, Potts (Holland-Wilkinson 66), Dolan (c) (Bennett 90+1), Coulton.
Subs not used: Lombard, Nicholson, Huddart, Rodwell-Grant.

Goals: Walker (8), Dolan (57)

Booked: Corcoran (71), Walker (75)

Sent off: Dooley (70)

Attendance: 978

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