Match: Preston North End U18 v Accrington Stanley U18
Match day and the nerves were really starting get going. This was my first League match for the youth team against Accrington Stanley. We were all warned not to take Accrington lightly otherwise they would turn us over. Before the match started I was sick with nerves. It’s never happened to me before. God knows why as I’m usually extremely calm before matches.
Thankfully, the second I stepped onto the pitch the nerves disappeared. My nerves were almost none existent after I dealt with the first threat. A shot from the Accrington striker which swerved and dipped awkwardly, but I managed to hold onto the ball well. Shortly after this we took the lead, the goal coming all the way from my end of the pitch. I rolled the ball out to right-back Mike Aspin who went on one of his mazy runs down the wing; he played the ball to Ash Higgins who crossed for Tom Smyth to head his first goal of the season. After this goal Accrington started to increase the tempo of their game and put a couple of decent crosses into the box. I caught one cleanly and managed to punch the second up in the air before grabbing the ball at the second attempt.
We went 2 up after half an hour when Ash Higgins put the ball in the back of the net. I was a relative spectator for the rest of the half, with only a few back passes to deal with. Accrington came out in the second half looking to get back into the game, but they could only muster one shot from distance which I dealt with comfortably. Adam Barton made the game safe on 65 minutes, lashing the ball home after some neat footwork. After this I didn’t have much to do saves-wise apart from a couple more crosses and one or two back passes. All in all a nice game to make a League debut in and that all important clean sheet at the end of it.