Tom Shaw’s young Lincoln City side secured their place in the FA Youth Cup Fourth Round with a 1-0 win over Preston North End. The Imps will now face Watford at LNER Stadium thanks to Freddy Draper’s late second half strike.
The Imps had their first attack in the opening minutes with Freddy Draper breaking his way into the Preston North End box on the counterattack. The forward did well to beat his man but was unfortunate on the edge of the pitch with the ball rolling just out for a goal-kick.
Sam Long started a second counterattack for City shortly after as he came out to collect a Preston free kick before playing through Jovon Makama. The Imps forward flicked the ball over Joe Blanchard, but it was too heavy allowing Oliver Lombard to come off his line and claim possession with his hands.
The Imps continued to attack the Preston half with Sean Roughan picking the ball up in the middle of the park before pushing forward towards the edge of the opposition box. The Irishman looked like he was going to line up a shot, but Josh Seary did really well for the home side as he put in a perfectly timed challenge to stop the attack.
Lombard was forced into action just after the 20-minute mark, making a good stop at his near post from Makama’s shot. The Imps were rewarded with their first corner of the game, but it was quickly cleared by Preston.
The home side had their moments in the opening half-an-hour, winning a free-kick on the edge of the box, however, Lewis Leigh’s effort was high over Long’s goal.
Leigh was involved in another close chance for the home side as he did well to run into the area and onto Aaron Bennett’s well-timed pass. Roughan had it covered though putting in a great challenge to win City a goal-kick.
The Imps showed some great skill in the opening half with Draper turning his man before playing an impressive through ball to Makama. The City number 10 cut inside before striking the ball, however it was off target, going over Lombard’s goal.
Preston finished the half with Leigh coming close to opening the scoring from inside the area. Long pulled off a great double save for the Imps preventing the White’s number eight from finding the back of the net.
HALF-TIME: PRESTON NORTH END 0-0 THE IMPS
It was the home side who had the first real chance of the second half with Noah Mawene almost heading home the flick on from Bennett’s deep corner, Long was there though for the Imps, showing great reactions as he pounced on to the loose ball.
The home side continued their attack on the Imps half, this time with Joe Rodwell-Grant showing his physical presence on the edge of the box, the Preston forward produced a driven shot low towards Long’s goal, but it was just wide of the post.
The City goalkeeper was forced into action again, this time sprinting off his line to prevent Bennett from getting a shot on goal on the edge of the box.
Billy Brooks continued to show great footwork, winning the Imps a free kick to the right-hand side of the box. Nathan Odokonyero delivered the ball into the area, but the home side were well organised as they urgently cleared the danger.
City grew into the second half, creating a number of chances to match Preston’s early attacks on goal. Ben Sault had his first effort of the game inside the area; however, the midfielder’s shot was just over the crossbar.
Kacper Gruszczynski was the first name to be put into the referee’s book with the defender putting a late challenge in on the halfway line as Preston North End looked to counterattack.
City broke the deadlock in the 83rd minute with Freddy DRAPER running onto a well-timed pass from Sault. The Imps forward stayed calm before slotting it home as he was one-on-one with Lombard.
The home side made their only change of the game four minutes before the final whistle with Vaughn Green replacing Noah Mawene.
City finished the game well in a professional manner, as Preston piled the pressure on Tom Shaw’s side in search of a late equaliser. As the referee blew for full-time, Draper’s late strike would be all it took to secure the Imps a place in the FA Youth Cup Fourth Round.
FULL-TIME: PRESTON NORTH END 0-1 THE IMPS
PRESTON NORTH END
- Oliver LOMBARD
- Josh SEARY
- Lewis COULTON
- Ben DOOLEY (C)
- Harry HUDDART
- Joe BLANCHARD
- Jacob HOLLAND-WILKINSON
- Lewis LEIGH
- Joe RODWELL-GRANT
- Noah MAWENE (86’ Vaughn GREEN)
- Aaron BENNETT
- Kyi NICHOLSON
- Declyn DUGGAN (GK)
- Jacob SLATER
- Dana AMARAL
- Levi LEWIS
- Mikey O’NEIL
- Vaughn GREEN
LINCOLN CITY FOOTBALL CLUB
- Sam LONG
- Haydn TEAR
- Kacper GRUSZCZYNSKI
- Hayden CANN (C)
- Jasper TETLOW
- Sean ROUGHAN
- Billy BROOKS
- Ben SAULT
- Freddy DRAPER
- Jovon MAKAMA
- Nathan ODOKONYERO
- Bobby DEANE
- Matthew BOYLAN (GK)
- Theo MUSSELL
- Harry DALE
- Mekhi ANGOL
GOAL: 83’ Freddy DRAPER
BOOKED: 82’ Kacper GRUSZCZYNSKI