Preston’s impressive run in the FA Youth Cup this year came to an end on Monday night when they fell to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Stoke City.
It was Nick Harrison’s side first appearance in the last eight of this competition for over 50 years, but a big, powerful Stoke City side proved one task too many for the youngsters.
The Potters, who are classed as a category one Academy side, took an early lead when Jordan Greenidge drilled a shot in to the bottom right hand corner after North End failed to clear a long ball.
This came as a bit of a wake up call to the home side, they reacted well and created several chances to draw level, they were far from out of this one yet.
But they were made to pay for not taking their chance when shortly before the break, Tyrese Campbell showed his pace and power to break free of the Preston defence and smash his side’s second of the game home from just inside the area.
The home side struggled to deal with the Stoke strike partnership all game long, Tyrese Campbell and Jordan Greenidge, simply a class above on the field at times.
It was them two again that combined to put the tie to bed for Stoke, Greenidge broke away down the right hand side before delivering to the back post where Campbell was waiting to finish from close range.
North End gave the tie a very good go, it was always going to be a huge ask for the U18 side, but they did themselves proud against the Youth Premier League side.
They managed to grab one goal back in the closing stages when Josh Earl fired one home after a scramble in the area where the impressive Melle Meulensteen had already had a shot blocked.
Stoke held on for the win and they progress in to the semi-final where a two-legged tie against Manchester City awaits.