James Boyd's first half goal was the differenceFleetwood Town’s youth team slipped to a narrow defeat away to Preston North End on Saturday morning in the North West Youth Alliance League.
James Boyd’s solitary goal just past the half hour mark at Chorley’s Victory Stadium was enough for the young Lilywhites to claim all three-points on home soil.
And Fleetwood were forced to play the closing stages of the encounter with ten men, following the dismissal of Nathan Sheron for two bookable offences.
Elliott Wynne remained in goal for Town, while Lewis Baines was rewarded with a starting place alongside captain Andy Smith.
In a game which saw few chances in the early exchanges, it would be North End who created the first real opening of the match after just 12 minutes, when Sean Whelan glanced over Lamin Jagne’s floating cross.
Preston continued to put pressure on Fleetwood’s goal, with Jagne and Jonathan Lunney both seeing efforts go just wide of the post.
However, Town conceded after 32 minutes, when James Boyd connected with Lunney’s pin-point cross to nod beyond Wynne.
A few minutes later, Wynne had to be alert to deny Tom Barry’s tame header from Oliver Crankshaw’s cross.
At the other end, Fleetwood’s in-form talisman, Mamadou Djabi, spurned a great opportunity to level proceedings, when he was denied superbly by goalkeeper Matthew Hudson before Hancox’s follow up attempt was bravely
As play resumed for the second-half, the young Cod Army may have considered themselves unlucky not to equalise as neat build-up play from Michael Tetteh and Djabi subsequently saw the latter find space and force Hudson into a
Town were forcing the issue midway through the half, but were unable to gain a way through beyond the hosts’ tight defence.
Goalscorer Boyd could have added his second of the day, only for the striker to shoot wide having had the ball deflected into his path.
With 20 minutes to go, Preston were keen to double their advantage, when Lunney’s long range free kick stung the palms of Wynne.
Fleetwood were reduced to 10 men late on, when Sheron received his marching orders after picking up a second yellow card.