Preston North End reserves 4 Accrington Stanley reserves 2: Scott Sinclair nets twice in front of new PNE boss

A strong Preston North End reserve side beat Accrington Stanley at Euxton in front of new boss Ryan Lowe.

By Dave Seddon
Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 3:44 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 5:25 pm

Lowe was in the dug out for the Central League clash, the Lilywhites’ final one of 2021.

Joe Rodwell-Grant, Scott Sinclair (2) and second-year scholar Mikey O’Neill found the net.

Both Stanley goals were own goals, Liam Lindsay and Jamie Thomas netting at the wrong end.

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Scott Sinclair in action for Preston North End reserves against Accrington Stanley at Euxton Pic: Ian Robinson/PNE

Lowe gave game time to several of the first-team squad Sinclair, Lindsay, Ryan Ledson, Jordan Storey, Greg Cunningham, Paul Huntington and Brad Potts among them.

Storey and Lindsay played either side of Huntington at the back and were actively encouraged to bring the ball out from the back and push up down the sides.

Four early chances fell PNE’s way but it was Stanley who took the lead in the 23rd minute.

Lindsay put plenty of pace on a back pass, one which rolled past Connor Ripley's out-stretched foot and went in off the post.

Rodwell-Grant equalised within three minutes, heading home Cunningham’s cross from the left-wing.

Sinclair then struck twice in two minutes in the build-up to half-time.

In the 41st minute, Potts won a challenge, Ledson picking up the second ball and sliding a pass through to put Sinclair clear.

Sinclair took a touch before lifting a shot past the keeper as he came off his line.

Adam O’Reilly, who started as right wing-back before moving into midfield, created the second for Sinclair, his pass finding the striker in the box.

Keeper Liam Isherwood blocked his first shot but Sinclair was first to the rebound and found the roof of the net from close range.

Stanley came back into the game in the second half and it needed a smart save from Ripley to denyDion Charles after the keeper’s clearance had fallen to the striker.

The loose ball fell to Joe Hardy who lifted a cross against the bar.

North End made it 4-1 in the 76th minute, Potts’ pass across the face of the box finding substitute O’Neill who drove a low right-foot finish across the keeper.

The visitors cut the arrears with three minutes left, the ball bouncing off Thomas into the net at a corner.

North End: Ripley, Storey, Huntington, Lindsay (Coulton 60), O’Reilly, Ledson (Seary 64), Potts (Cross-Adair 76), Thomas, Cunningham, Sinclair (O’Neill 64), Rodwell-Grant. Sub (not used): Pradic.

Accrington: Isherwood, Pleavin (Samma 46), Moonan, Clark (Patrick 46), Carson, Martin, Nolan (Stowe 60), Scully, Mansell, (Hardy 60) Charles (Doherty 81), Woods.

Referee: J Graham