Our youngsters bowed out of the FA Youth Cup last night, as they succumbed to a 6-1 loss to Preston North End at Deepdale.
Midfielder Jack Thomas, who skippered our side, found the net for us with a powerful spot-kick shortly after the re-start.
However, The Lilywhites, who now face either York City or Macclesfield Town in the Second Round, were worthy winners.
On a stormy night in Lancashire, the hosts opened the scoring on eight minutes when Sam Livesey latched onto a long ball over the top and fired home.
The Stags then weathered a storm or pressure, in which Harry Waldram made a brilliant fingertip stop to keep out Jack Ryan’s bullet header.
Nevertheless, Preston struck three times in lightning-quick speed just prior to the break, to establish a commanding 4-0 lead.
Joe Whittington produced an emphatic close-range finish to double The Lilywhites’ advantage on 40 minutes, before Ryan struck a quick-fire brace.
Our youngsters improved after the re-start, but only after Whittington had cushioned a low attempt beyond Waldram, to make it 5-0.
The Stags grabbed a consolation when Kevin Hemagou was fouled inside the area, which allowed Jack Thomas to convert the subsequent spot-kick.
Conor Green’s inviting free-kick evaded everyone inside a packed six-yard box and bounced just wide of the target, as we came close again on 56 minutes.
Preston completed the scoring in the closing stages when Tyler Forbes reacted quickest to slot home, after Waldram parried Ryan’s long-range effort.
Team: Waldram, Walker, Koczalski, Brownlie (Asare), Green, Fletcher, Simpson (Fitzpatrick), Spencer, J.Thomas, Lamb (Thompson), Hemagou.