Before the game Group 2 looked like this:
Preston 6 points
Notts 6 points
Port Vale 0 points
Huddersfield 0 points
The winner of this game would therefore qualify automatically to progress into the next round. The loser MAY still qualify for the next round depending on results elsewhere, while a draw would see both teams progress. Notts were up against a strong Preston team who have lost only once this season in their eight league and cup games and sit second in their division.
The Notts team was:
Jack Henchcliffe, Owen Betts, Rasharn Altaf and Leo Marshall
Kieran Cummings, Charlie Wilde, Corey Bucalossi and Cameron Smith
Coden Duncan and Kion Etete
Owen Newell, Max Culverwell, Tyreace Palmer, Stern Irvine, Syme Mulvaney
Notts put out a young team made up of only three second year scholars and eight either first year scholars or under 16 players. Max Culverwell the usual first choice ‘keeper was rested after his exertions on Thursday night for the under 23 team at Newcastle to gave a rare opportunity for Tiernan Brooks.
It was a rainy day at Highfields Sports Ground and it took only seven minutes for Preston to go ahead as their left winger Ethan Walker cut inside and fired a good shot into the net. Preston were a strong and competitive side but Notts began to get more into the game and a good double save from Tiernan Brooks in the Notts goal held the Preston team who go in with a deserved one goal lead at half-time.
The second half was fairly even for the first fifteen minutes before two goals in two minutes put Preston 3-0 up giving Notts a mountain to climb. With ten minutes left Notts pulled a goal back when Kion Etete from a corner, hit a volley high into the net. Notts piled on the pressure trying to get back into the game but a late goal by Preston made the final score 1-4.
Notts lost to a stronger and maybe slightly older Preston side today with their number eleven Ethan Walker a complete handful throughout the whole game, scoring twice and assisting in one of the others.