Charlie Jolley’s second-half winner sends Latics through to the semi-final of Youth Alliance Cup following 1-0 victory over Lincoln City.
- EFL Youth Alliance Cup Quarter Final Report: Lincoln City 0 – 1 Wigan Athletic
- Charlie Jolley scores the only goal of the game to send Latics through
- Latics are now 19 games unbeaten this season
LINCOLN CITY 0
WIGAN ATHLETIC 1
C. Jolley 58
Charlie Jolley’s second-half winner earned Latics a hard-fought win against Lincoln City at Ravendale Sports Ground on Saturday afternoon, progressing to the semi-final of the Youth Alliance Cup for the third consecutive year.
After a period of constant Latics pressure, Jolley struck in the 58th minute following a clever pull-back from Mitchell Culshaw.
Latics made two changes from their victory over Wolves in the FA Youth Cup on Monday night, with Culshaw and Kyle Joseph returning to the starting line-up, in place of Jensen Weir and Joe Gelhardt respectively.
Right-back, Victor Maffeo, also made a return to the bench for Latics following his lengthy spell on the sidelines with a groin problem.
In a match played in difficult conditions, Latics started the brighter of the two teams and had a chance to go ahead, though Kyle Joseph’s header glanced wide after Harry Jolley’s cross.
Latics threatened again soon after, this time through midfielder Will McGuffie as he collected the ball from Scott Smith, though his right-footed effort failed to lack any conviction after he beat his man on the edge of the box.
The visitors fought- hard in a frustrating opening 30 minutes and nearly took the lead as Culshaw flicked the ball on behind the defence and Divin Baningime, who opened the scoring at Molineux on Monday night, beat his man but his effort was palmed away by the Lincoln goalkeeper.
Though, the visitors deservedly opened the scoring in the 58th minute, an early throw from Harry Jolley found Culshaw in behind the defence and the midfielder’s pull-back found Charlie Jolley, who fired his emphatic left-footed effort past the goalkeeper.
Latics came close to doubling their advantage just after the hour mark, Culshaw anticipated the loose ball before driving at the opposition, but he fired his effort just over the bar from a tight angle.
The midfielder was heavily involved again in a string of chances for the visitors, beating his man both times before producing two good saves from the Lincoln goalkeeper to deny Latics their second of the game.
The game was nearly wrapped up in the final few minutes, Baningime found the feet of goal-scorer Jolley, though the latter’s effort went agonisingly wide with the goalkeeper at full stretch.
Latics held on to record their second away win in the space of five days and will progress to the semi-final which will be played on January 12.
Culshaw, who had a hand in the only goal of the game, said the players deserved the three points:
“We knew it would be different coming off the back of Monday against Wolves, but we dug deep and stuck to the game plan and got our reward in the end”, he said.
The midfielder also said he was delighted to be involved and help the team progress to the semi-final:
“I’ve been training well and I’m happy to contributed to the team getting the win, we’re all delighted.”
Culshaw, who made his first start in three games, praised his team-mates after the victory:
“It shows that we can fight as well as play on the floor, we’re all together and it shows our strengths and weaknesses.
“We have to take it into next weekend against Carlisle, they’re a good team so it will be tough for us, we’re going to have to be at our best.”
Latics’ next fixture will be in the Youth Alliance, as they face a trip to Carlisle United on December 22.
Latics: Jones, H.Jolley, Obi, Long, Robinson, Smith (capt), McGuffie, Culshaw (Gelhardt 80), Baningime, C.Jolley, Joseph.
Subs: Maffeo, Gelhardt, Weir, O’Neil, Berry.