Preston North End kids into the FA Youth Alliance final

Captain Harry Nevin says Preston “boys stepped up” after injuries to key players in their 4-1 win over Bolton in the sectional Youth Alliance Cup final.

A double from Aaron Bennett and strikes from Vaughn Green and Finlay Cross-Adair saw North End’s under 18s home – and they will now face Luton Town in the national final.

But they had to do it the hard way after three key players were injured during the game.

Teddy Mfuni, Noah Mawene and Lewis Leigh all limped off ad had to be replaced.

“It’s a big blow to the team when you’ve got players like that coming off,” said Irish centre back Nevin.

“Noah runs all day in midfield, Teddy is solid at the back and Lewis just controls everything in midfield, it doesn’t help when injuries like that come in such a big game.

“The boys stepped up especially the ones that came on, they did their part and that helped us to this 4-1 win.”

Mitchel Henry gave Bolton the lead midway through the first half. Preston weren’t having much luck in the game as Mikey O’Neill missed a penalty before half time, while Teddy Mfuni, Noah Mawene and Lewis Leigh had to be replaced due to injury.

A fantastic second half performance with a double from Aaron Bennett as well as goals from Vaughn Green and Finlay Cross-Adair saw Preston rise to victory.

Full Time whistle as Preston beat Bolton 4-1.

On their way to this sectional final Preston soared out of their group featuring Fleetwood, Bradford City and Accrington Stanley. Then they knocked out Huddersfield Town and Burton Albion.

Bolton picked up maximum points in their group beating Doncaster Rovers, Oldham and Mansfield. They then went onto knockout Accrington Stanley and then beat Blackpool 4-2 on penalties in the semi-final.

Preston forward Bennett played 90 minutes for the second time this season after recovering from a long-term injury.

He believes that this team is just continuing to get better and better.

“We’ve got a really good group of lads,” said Bennett.

“The team is just getting better and better, were in a good position in the league, were in the final of this cup, this group of lads are just really strong and were just going to take the games as they come.”

Preston North End U18s are back in action on Saturday as they welcome Carlisle United in the Youth Alliance League, while Bolton U18s host Port Vale.