Wanderers’ B Team kicked off their Central League campaign with a 2-0 defeat a strong Preston North End side at the Euxton training ground.
Luke Hutchinson got the nod in goal, with summer signing Luke Matheson in the backline alongside Noah Halford, Charlie Hayes-Green, Eric Yoro and Max Conway.
Nelson Khumbeni and Matt Tweedley started in midfield, with Ben Andreucci, Finlay Lockett and Gerald Sithole in attack.
Meanwhile, the hosts’ starting line-up featured the likes of Dai Cornell, Greg Cunningham and Patrick Bauer.
The Whites came close to taking an early lead but Cornell made a smart stop to deny Lockett from close range.
The North End goalkeeper was again called into action minutes later, tipping Sithole’s free kick over the bar.
Ben Woodburn looked lively for the hosts and was denied twice in quick succession, first by a brave defensive block and then by Hutchinson moments later.
Felipe Rodriguez-Gentile dragged an effort wide early in the second half before Hutchinson made another good stop, this time to deny Noah Mawene.
The woodwork came to Wanderers’ rescue just before the hour mark when Jack Whatmough crashed a header against the foot of the post.
North End eventually broke the deadlock when Mawene played in Josh Seary, who found a way past Hutchinson with a composed finish.
Substitute Trevon Bryan, who joined Craddock’s B Team squad over the summer after leaving Burnley, had a chance midway through the second half after a dangerous counter attack but was denied by Cornell.
Rodriguez-Gentile had another effort saved by Hutchinson before Seary doubled the lead 11 minutes from time. He latched onto Kitt Nelson’s pass and found the bottom corner with a clinical strike.
Max Wilson could have added a third during the final stages but failed to hit the target after he was picked out by Nelson.
Hutchinson, Halford, Yoro (Toure 74), Hayes-Green (Inwood 88), Matheson, Lockett (Pettifer 66), Khumbeni, Tweedley, Conway, Sithole, Andreucci (Bryan 66). Unused: Sharples.