Preston North End lost on penalties against Blackburn Rovers in the semi-final of the Lancashire Senior Cup.

With the score line 2-2 after 90 minutes, the game went straight to spot kicks and it was the visitors at Springfields who scored all five penalties to progress through to the final.

Rovers took a very early lead through left-back Lewis Thompson, whose deflected effort from inside the box looped into the far corner past Connor Ripley.

Within a few minutes PNE were level through Paul Huntington who rose highest to power home the header, from Tyrhys Dolan's in swinging corner.

Brad Potts sent the Lilywhites in ahead at the break, finishing well from the right after Jayden Stockley slid the midfielder in.

But almost immediately after the restart Rovers were awarded a penalty, with Ryan Ledson adjudged to have fouled Stefan Mols.

The PNE man wasn't pleased with the decision but up stepped John Buckley to level the score.

Potts and Stockley had chances to win it for Preston but it was Rovers who progressed through the penalty shoot-out 5-3 winners, with Jayden Stockley seeing his effort saved by Joe Hilton.

Here are the seven talking points from the afternoon's clash.

O'Reilly impresses

The young Irish midfielder came on mid-way through the first half and played in an advanced midfield role, which hasn't always been the case for him.

He showed a real hunger to make runs into the channels, get stuck in and take the game to Rovers' admittedly physically superior back four.

O'Reilly caused problems and was probably the standout player in the second half - Preston should look after him, there's a talented lad there.

Dolan's dancing feet

If you've seen North End's U18 side you won't need telling about the sheer confidence of Tyrhys Dolan.

He's only small but his quick feet and bag of tricks make up for it.

Seeing an academy player desperate to impress and give their all is always a pleasing sight and he did just that.

Dolan looked one of the main threats and while he's still understandably a little raw in his play, all the signs are there that he has a bright future.

On-loan men feature

As well as O'Reilly, Jack Baxter and Jack Armer featured for PNE.

All three have gone out on loan to Stalybridge Celtic, Clitheroe and Lancaster City respectively but played their part in the cup tie.

The Lancashire FA had given permission for them to do so and they all put in a good shift.

Baxter completed 90 minutes and hit the crossbar with a thunderous strike in the first half and Armer got a good 30 minutes under his belt, replacing Andrew Hughes.

Hughes nearing return

The left-back has been touch and go for the last couple league matches but after completing an hour unscathed, he should be close to a return to action.

Hughes defended well and looked physically strong - having him back will be a boost.

Neil always wants to win

The Preston manager didn't officially take charge of the game but he might as well have.

Within 10 minutes Neil had walked down the touchline to have a word with Frankie McAvoy and Nick Harrison and he continued to instruct from various areas on the sidelines throughout the game.

North End have a manager who is meticulous in his tactical preparation and it is in his blood to help win football matches, regardless of the competition.

Storey game time

Jordan Storey has played nine times this season with five of those appearances coming in the league.

After playing 32 times last season that will be a bit disappointing for the young player, despite the strength of the two first-choice defenders ahead of him.

At times in the game it looked as though a lack of match action might be affecting him - Storey got caught in two minds and almost gifted Rovers a goal with a short back pass in the first half.

He's still only 22 and PNE still have a good player on their hands, but he's perhaps just lost his way a bit this season.

Disappointing finish

Regardless of the competition, with the side Preston fielded it'll be frustrating for them to be knocked out by a local rival.

While Rovers had an extremely young team out, it's a team that will play together regularly in their under-23s and be used to those sorts of conditions.

That's no excuse though for a PNE side that had several senior players out and really ought to have won the match.