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Kick off 11:00 (UK)

26 January 2019 Venue Unavailable Attendance

Kick off 11:00 (UK)

Shrewsbury Town U18
0 - 0
Wigan Athletic U18

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Match Previews


24 January 2019

Latics return to Youth Alliance action on Saturday as they travel to Shrewsbury Town.

  • Academy Preview: Shrewsbury Town vs Wigan Athletic
  • Latics beat Carlisle United 3-0 in December in their last EFL Youth Alliance fixture
  • Latics aiming to continue unbeaten run after 2-1 win over Scunthorpe United in EFL Youth Alliance Cup


Latics’ Under 18s visit Shrewsbury Town in their first game in the EFL Youth Alliance in 2019 on Saturday.

Gregor Rioch’s side, who are now 23 games unbeaten in all competitions this season, go into their trip to Shropshire off the back of a 2-1 win over Scunthorpe United in the Youth Alliance Cup semi-final.

A brace from forward James Berry ensured Latics would progress to the area final, despite coming from behind after the hosts took the lead inside the opening ten minutes.

Latics’ last fixture in the Youth Alliance was in December as they secured a 3-0 win over Carlisle United with goals from Kyle Joseph, Berry and Divin Baningime securing a comprehensive victory to extend their lead at the top of the table.

Latics’ youngsters hold an impressive away record this season, including 14 goals in their last five away games and conceding just four, including impressive wins over Wolverhampton Wanderers and Hull City in the FA Youth Cup.

Hosts, Shrewsbury Town, come into the game sitting eighth in the North West Division,  four points adrift of seventh-placed Tranmere Rovers.

One win in their last five games has shown this to be a difficult period for Salop, though, a surprising 4-1 win over Preston North End last-time out has them full of confidence ahead of their fixture with Latics.

The two clubs last met in September when Joseph’s goals earned Latics a hard-fought win at Christopher Park, despite the visitors grabbing a late goal in the second-half.

The victory was Latics’ seventh straight victory of the season as they aimed to push on after a positive start to the campaign.

U18 Coach Peter Murphy has said it will be another tough test for his players on Saturday:

“We’ve won 12 out of 13 in the league, so it’s important we keep that momentum going and look to perform well,” he said.

“They gave us a good game when they came to Wigan, so I expect a difficult test, but we’ve had a big month in cup competitions where you don’t have a chance to put things right, but you do in the league so that’s important for us.”

Murphy also praised his players following their victory over Scunthorpe United in the Youth Alliance cup semi-final:

“It was different to how we normally play, but with the group of players we’ve got we can afford to play differently if we have to,” he added.

“We reacted well to going a goal down, which shows great character from the group and in the end, we deserved to progress to the final.”

The manager also commented on the impact of Berry, who scored both goals and Mitchell Culshaw since their return from injuries:

“It’s a great thing for me to have players who come in like that and make a difference, Mitchell came in from an injury and made a great impact.

“As well as James who has also come back, worked well and bided his time and it’s important we keep monitoring him well so he can get fitter and score more goals.”

Murphy also confirmed he has a full squad available ahead of the trip to Shrewsbury on Saturday:

“A few were involved in the development squad’s game on Tuesday but everyone has come through with no knocks, so I have a full squad to choose from.”


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Match Reports


26 January 2019

Latics put five past Shrewsbury Town in the EFL Youth Alliance as they go 12 months unbeaten in the league.

  • Academy Report: Shrewsbury Town 0 Latics 5.
  • Scotland youth international Kyle Joseph netted a hat-trick as Latics made it 24 games unbeaten this season.
  • Latics now unbeaten in 12 months in the league, strengthening their grip on the EFL Youth Alliance.

O’Neill 39
Long 45+3
Joseph 47, 75, 85

Latics put five past Shrewsbury Town in the Youth Alliance on Saturday morning to extend their record to 12 months unbeaten in the league, with Scotland youth international Kyle Joseph collecting the match ball with a hat-trick.

MacKenzie O’Neill and Adam Long’s first-half goals put Latics in control, before a second-half hat-trick from Joseph capped off an impressive display in the return to EFL Youth Alliance action.

Latics, who faced their second away trip in a week, made two changes from their victory over Scunthorpe United in the EFL Youth Alliance Cup, with O’Neill replacing Scott Smith and Jensen Weir coming in for Divin Baningime.

The last EFL Youth Alliance game came against Carlisle United in December with goals from Joseph, James Berry and Baningime handing Latics a 3-0 away win.

Latics set up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Mitchell Culshaw, Berry and O’Neill providing the support for Joseph.

The visitors had their first chance inside six minutes, their high pressure paid dividends as Will McGuffie won the ball in a dangerous area, only for Berry’s curling effort to be saved by the goalkeeper, with the forward aiming to build on his two goals last weekend.

Latics came close again just minutes later, with the ball dropping invitingly to O’Neill at the edge of the box and his drilled effort went agonisingly wide with the goalkeeper well beaten.

Shrewsbury struggled to contain Latics’ pressure inside the first 20 minutes and the best chance fell to Berry as the goalkeeper lost the ball, though the forward was unable to keep his effort on target from 10 yards out.

Though, Latics eventually took the lead just over five minutes before half-time, Joseph’s ball through was perfectly weighted for O’Neill who calmly slotted past the on-rushing goalkeeper.

Despite late pressure from the home side, Latics doubled their advantage on the stroke of half-time.

Weir’s corner was flicked on by Joseph and centre back Long anticipated the ball at the back-post to smash it into the empty net.

Latics got their third almost straight after the restart. Goalkeeper Bobby Jones found Culshaw on the right along with Victor Maffeo, with the latter picking out Joseph at the back-post, his header beating the goalkeeper from close range.

Latics added their fourth of the game and surely wrapped it up on the 75th minute, Joseph latched onto a flick on in-behind the defence and his left-footed effort beat the goalkeeper.

The Scotland youth international completed his hat-trick and grabbed Latics’ fifth of the game with five minutes to spare, substitute Thelo Aasgaard’s short corner found Weir and his inviting ball was instinctively flicked into the net by Joseph, leaving the goalkeeper rooted to the spot.

Latics comfortably saw out Shrewsbury Town to extend their lead at the top of the Youth Alliance table, with Latics in action next Saturday against Bury in the Youth Alliance Cup Area final.

Latics: Jones, Maffeo (McWilliam 76), Obi (capt) ( Isherwood 76), Long, Robinson, Weir, McGuffie, Culshaw (Baningime 81), Berry, O’Neill (Aasgaard 65), Joseph.

Unused subs: C. Jolley

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