Tranmere Rovers U18s suffered a narrow loss following a 3-2 defeat at home to Preston North End.
Andy Parkinson’s side led 2-1 at half time thanks to goals from Ryan Stratulis and Jake Burton but it did not prove to be enough as Preston took home the three points courtesy of two second half strikes.
The home side were unable to bounce back after they suffered their first loss in five games in a 3-2 defeat away at Blackpool last week.
It was a cagey start to the game with both sides scrapping it out for possession and it took until the eighth minute for the first chance to come as Preston’s Joe Rodwell-Grant got in behind the defence, but his effort to lob Ben Jones was well saved.
However, it was not long before Preston opened the scoring as Rodwell-Grant got on the end of a superb cross from Lewis Coulton to head home.
Rovers looked to hit back immediately but long-range efforts from Burton and Stratulis never looked like testing the goalkeeper.
Tranmere continued to put their opponents under pressure and deservedly equalised after 19 minutes as Stratulis found the bottom corner with a powerful strike from distance.
Preston looked to regain the lead from the off and came close to doing so as Tyrhys Dolan danced through the box and unleashed a shot that beat the keeper before rattling the crossbar.
The home team managed to snatch the lead in the 33rd minute as Burton’s perfectly placed shot found the top corner, no chance for Jimmy Corcoran in the Preston goal.
They then looked to widen their margin just before half time as Louis Shead’s header was just over the bar.
There was a rather lacklustre start to the second half as both teams failed to get a hold on possession.
It was the 58th minute before there was any real action in the second half as Burton beat the Preston defence and found Cameron Ferguson whose shot was well blocked by Coulton.
The away side levelled the scoring in the 65th minute. The Tranmere defence was distracted by their claims for offside which allowed Aaron Bennett to lift the ball over the head of Jones to make it 2-2.
The Lancashire side then took the lead 10 minutes later thanks to some poor defending as the Tranmere defence failed to put any pressure on Brian McManus and he found the back of the net from range.
The Whites failed to create any notable chances in the remainder of the game and Preston came close to doubling their lead in the last attack of the game as Rodwell-Grant forced another save from Jones.
Tranmere’s next game is away to Shrewsbury, 11am kick off on Saturday 30th November.
Report by: Daniel Noble