Preston 1, Grimsby 0: ​Happy as Tarry: Super sub sends North End into final of youth cup

Preston’s youngsters progressed to the final of the National Alliance Youth Cup courtesy of a last-minute goal from substitute Troy Tarry. (writes John Smith)
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​When Tarry tapped home a rebound from close range with virtually the last kick of a hard-fought clash, it sparked delirious celebrations by the corner flag from the whole team and substitutes who had all gathered in a huddle by the corner flag.

The kick-off was delayed by an hour because of the Grimsby team coach being held up in motorway traffic but when it finally did get underway the game produced an entertaining end-to-end tie for the 120 plus spectators who braved the cold and windy conditions.

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North End had their best chance of an evenly contested first half early on when Tom Wilkinson made a strong run from his own half before playing the ball through to the lively Ethan Eccleston but after some frantic action in the penalty area, the game remained goalless.

​Preston’s youth team will play Portsmouth in the National Alliance Youth Cup final (photo:PNE)​Preston’s youth team will play Portsmouth in the National Alliance Youth Cup final (photo:PNE)
​Preston’s youth team will play Portsmouth in the National Alliance Youth Cup final (photo:PNE)

At the other end, goalkeeper Tommy Davis made a couple of saves to keep his side level at the interval.

In the second half, both Theo Mawene and Felipe Rodriguez-Gentile had chances to take the lead but Grimsby also looked dangerous and Davis made another good save in keeping out a goal-bound free kick.

In the dying minutes with penalties looming, Jonny Brindle made a great block to keep the scores level.

However, it was North who would win it at the death.

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They went straight upfield as Tarry popped up with the late winner and set up an Alliance National Youth Final against Portsmouth.

The venue of the final will be decided by the toss of a coin.

North End: Tommy Davis, Joe Blake, Jonny Brindle, Cole McGhee, Ethan Eccleston, Ellis Horan, Tom Wilkinson, Kaedyn Kamara, Max Wilson, Theo Mawene, Felipe Rodriguez-Gentile. Subs: Somto Ifezoue (Kamara 83) Troy Tarry(Eccleston 83) Ayden Garrigan (Blake 88) Li-Bau Stowell, Peter Critchley.

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