Preston North End Reserves 1
Wrexham Reserves 2
Central League Cup (Group B)

Preston NE Reserves

1 - 2
HT: 0-0

Wrexham Reserves

Central League Cup
(Group B)
Tuesday, October 17th, 2023
Springfields Training Ground
Attendance: 49
1:00pm kick-off

Callum Havard (pen) (2) Rio Owen (pen.) (67)
Callum Edwards (72)

Team Managers
John Welsh Nick Chadwick

Starting Eleven
1. Tommy Davis
2. Peter Critchley
3. Izac Khan
4. Max Wilson
5. Tom Wilkinson
6. Cole McGhee
7. Troy Tarry
8. Theo Carroll
9. Callum Havard
10. Theo Mawene
11. Charlie Goldsmith
Liam Hall .1
Max Hayes .2
Tom Kelly .3
Alex Moore .4
Harry Dean .5
Dan Davies .6
Callum Edwards .7
Owen Cushion .8
Rio Owen .9
Harry Ashfield .10
James Rainbird .11

12. Charlie Forwood
14. Harry Stringfellow
15. Edward Nolan
16. Ayden Garrigan
17. Dylan Gairns
Max Purvis .12
Jack Pilkington .13
Alfie Lussey .14
Keane Hazeldine .15
Mikey Hayman .16

Ayden Garrigan for Troy Tarry (62)
Harry Stringfellow for Theo Mawene (67)
Dylan Gairns for Charlie Goldsmith (80)
Charlie Forwood for Peter Critchley (80)
Edward Nolan for Callum Havard (80)
Alfie Lussey for Owen Cushion (40)
Keane Hazeldine for James Rainbird (69)
Max Purvis for Harry Ashfield (87)

Tom Wilkinson (48) Liam Hall (45)

Red Cards
None. None.

Match Officials

K. Hurn (Referee)
C. Andrews & T. Kennedy (Assistants)

Photography by PNEFC/Ian Robinson

Match Report

Wrexham’s hopes of progressing to the knockout stages of the Central League Cup were kept alive following a hard fought 2-1 win over Preston North End. A goal down inside 64 seconds, the Young Dragons levelled through a Rio Owen penalty midway through the second half, before a spectacular Callum Edwards strike sealed victory 18 minutes from time.

On a sunny but blustery afternoon at the Lancashire club’s Springfields Training Ground, both sides opted to play youthful starting XI’s. Wrexham PDP Lead Coach Nick Chadwick handed former Bradford Park Avenue goalkeeper Liam Hall his first reserve team start whilst Harry Ashfield captained the side just seven days after his senior debut at Crewe.

The match started in sensational fashion with Preston awarded a penalty inside the first minute when Owen Cushion’s ill-timed tackle halted Theo Mawene’s surging run into the area, Callum Havard sending Hall the wrong way from the resultant spot-kick. The goal clearly unsettled the visitors who nearly conceded a second two minutes later when Havard capitalised on a mistake from Dan Davies before slicing his shot wide of the target.

Gradually Wrexham began to get a foothold in the game, and the Dragons first effort of note came just shy of the quarter-hour mark with Rio Owen’s low shot deflected for a corner. The livewire striker then linked well with Ashfield only to see his effort fly narrowly wide of the upright before Owen himself set up his midfield compatriot who fired over after a fine lay-off. Preston responded with a sharp run and cross from left-winger Charlie Goldsmith, the ball sailing across the face of the six-yard box much to the relief of the Wrexham rear-guard.

Five minutes before the interval Cushion was forced off with an ankle injury after a full-blooded challenge with North End skipper Max Wilson, Alfie Lussey taking over in central midfield as the first-year professional limped forlornly back to the dressing room. The half-time break allowed Wrexham the chance to re-group, and they began the second period with a far higher tempo, Edwards in particular benefitting from the increased space created.

That was evident on 61 minutes when the 17-year-old tore down the right flank before crossing to the far post for left-back Tom Kelly to volley goalwards, the ball ricocheting to safety off the covering home defenders. Six minutes later and Wrexham where level as James Rainbird was brought down by Peter Critchley, Owen showing nerves of steel to calmly side foot home from 12-yards after lengthy protests from the Preston players.

The Dragons were now in the ascendancy and on 72 minutes a quick throw out from Hall found Edwards in acres of space midway inside his own half. Sensing the opportunity, he sped clear of the covering defenders racing some 60-yards before cutting inside to send a vicious dipping shot into top corner of the net. It was a goal worthy of winning any game and sparked joyous scenes of celebration amongst his team-mates.

Wrexham proved their own worst enemies in the closing stages as Preston tried in vain for an equaliser, Davies having to making a superb last-gasp cover tackle to deny substitute Dylan Gairns a clear sight of goal, but they deservedly held on to claim all three points.

Manager's Programme Notes