Preston North End reserves well beaten by experienced Barrow team in Central League
PNE reserves faced Barrow in the Central League on Tuesday afternoon
Preston North End reserves fell to a 0-3 defeat against Barrow in the Central League.
North End named a young side for the match, with the senior squad either away on international duty or on a short break ahead of the festive schedule. First team manager Ryan Lowe confirmed there would be a training group at Euxton this week, with the Barrow clash held at Springfields.
Noah Mawene, who was on the bench in last Friday's win over Blackburn Rovers, captained Preston for the Tuesday afternoon kick-off. Fellow young pros Josh Seary and Kitt Nelson were handed starts, with the rest of the team made up of academy scholars.
PNE headed into the game having won one and lost two in the Central League, with the sole victory coming against Bolton Wanderers in August. Defeats to Blackpool and Wrexham (Central League cup) followed, as well as a loss against Accrington Stanley in the Lancashire Senior Cup.
North End had early opportunities to go ahead, with Seary hitting the post after one minute before Nelson struck over from 12 yards. Preston goalkeeper Tommy Davis was then called into action twice in the space of 60 seconds, to keep out Ged Garner and then Courtney Duffus. First half chances were coming along, as Seary called Josh Lillis into action with a powerful hit.
The Barrow shot-stopper then produced a great reflex save to keep Nelson's close range effort out, after Rory Feely had gone close at the other end. It was Barrow who eventually broke the deadlock on 44 minutes though, as Ben Whitfield's shot was parried out and converted on the rebound by Sam Bellis.
Preston had to call upon Davis early in the second half, with the 'keeper denying Bellis a second prior to keeping out Whitfield's header from a David Worrall cross. North End will have felt in the game at one-nil down, but Barrow's experience would tell.
The away side found the net twice in the space of six minutes, with Sean Etaluku drilling home a second. Six minutes later, Ged Garner was there to head in number three from a dinked Whitfield delivery. Kacper Pasiek almost pulled a consolation back for the hosts, but PNE had to take their medicine come full time - with the experience no doubt a learning one for Preston's young guns.
PNE starting XI: Davis; Wilkinson, McGhee, Pasiek, Seary, Horan, N Mawene, Khan (Tarry 63'), Carroll (Goldsmith 75'), Eccleston (T Mawene 63'), Nelson (Gairns 75') PNE unused subs: Critchley
Barrow starting XI: Lillis; Feely, Reeve, Ogungbo, Campbell, Worrall (Bray 60'), Whitfield, Etaluku, Bellis, Duffus, Garner. Barrow unused subs: Farman, Taylor