Match report: Preston North End 0 Lincoln City 1 - Lilywhites youngster bow out of FA Youth Cup to a late goal at Deepdale
A late goal saw Preston North End bow out of the FA Youth Cup against Lincoln City at Deepdale.
The Lilywhites youngsters had the better of the contest but Freddy Draper's 83rd minute goal settled the third round tie in the visitors' favour.
He got played in behind the North End defence to run clear and find the net with a low finish.
PNE, watched from the stand by Alex Neil, Paul Gallagher and Darnell Fisher, had their chances.
Aaron Bennett and Lewis Leigh forced saves from Imps keeper Sam Long, with Joe Rodwell-Grant going close in the second half.
But ultimately it was Lincoln who headed home with a place in the fourth round.
Jovon Makama forced PNE goalkeeper Oliver Lombard into a diving save at the near post, the Lincoln striker having got free down the left hand side of the box.
North End's Leigh put a free-kick from 25 yards over the bar after a foul on Jacob Holland-Wilkinson.
Draper was inches away from connecting with an inswinging corner which flashed across the face of goal, Draper actually landing in the back of the net rather than the ball.
Three minutes before half-time it needed a fine double save from Long to keep PNE at bay.
Bennett, such a talent on PNE's left, cut in from the wing and hit a right-foot shot from 20 yards which Long dived to parry.
Leigh was first to the rebound but Long was able to block his shot.
Early in the second half Bennett's corner from the right was met by Harry Huddart who sent a header back across goal to the far post where Noah Mawene - son of former PNE defender Youl Mawene - wasn't able to get enough of a touch on it to force the ball home.
Rodwell-Grant went ever so close to breaking the deadlock after an hour, his low shot on the turn from just outside the box travelling inches wide of the post.
There was a let-off for North End in the 78th minute when Billy Brooks' pass played in Ben Sault behind the back line, Sault's powerful shot just clearing the bar.
At the other end, Mawene found room to get a shot away but it was charged down and taken behind for a corner.
Lincoln's winner came seven minutes from time, Draper running clear on to a through ball to fire past Lombard with a confident finish.
PNE: Lombard, Seary, Huddart, Blanchard, Coulton, Dooley, Mawene (Green 86), Leigh, Holland-Wilkinson, Bennett, Rodwell-Grant. Subs (not used): Nicholson, Slater, Amaral, Lewis, O'Neill, Duggan.
Lincoln: Song, Tear, Tetlow, Cann, Gruszcynski, Roughan, Sault, Brooks, Odokonyero, Draper, Makama. Subs (not used): Deane, Mussell, Dale, Angol, Boylan.
Referee: Alex Beckett (Blackpool)
Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 per month for the first two months. Try us today by clicking here