James Berry on target twice to defeat Fleetwood Town and remain top of the EFL Youth Alliance table.
- Academy Match Report: Latics 3 Fleetwood Town 0.
- James Berry nets a brace to make it three in three matches.
- Divin Baningime rounded off the victory to send Latics 15 unbeaten in all competitions in 2018/19.
Berry 18, 37
FLEETWOOD TOWN 0
Latics beat Fleetwood Town on Saturday afternoon courtesy of two goals from James Berry and a Divin Baningime strike at Christopher Park, sending Latics 15 games unbeaten in all competitions in 2018/19, whilst stretching the Under 18s' overall league unbeaten run to 22 matches, dating back to January of this year.
Berry opened his account for the game from the penalty spot and added his second soon later, following Mitchell Culshaw’s cross.
Baningime then sealed the win when his solo run was followed up with a fantastic low strike to beat the goalkeeper.
Latics made the three changes from last weekend’s victory over Rochdale, with Ryan Galvin, Jensen Weir and Berry replacing Luke Robinson, Scott Smith and Charlie Jolley.
The visitors, who have been on good form of late, started the game brightly and could have taken the lead, though a dangerous cross lacked a final touch.
Latics didn’t deter and they took the lead on the 18th minute. Will McGuffie did well to win the ball back and James Berry, who linked up with strike partner Kyle Joseph, was brought down and he stepped up to slot his penalty past the Fleetwood goalkeeper.
Latics could have added a second just before the half hour mark, the hosts broke in devastating fashion and Mitchell Culshaw’s fierce effort was well-saved.
Berry, who put Latics ahead through his early penalty, added his second of the game just before half-time.
Culshaw received the ball and turned his man, only for the midfielder to fire a dangerous ball across goal for the goalkeeper to palm away and Berry was on-hand to get the final touch into the net.
Latics could have added a third just after the break, though Joseph who has 16 goals for the season, failed to add to his tally when he dragged his shot narrowly wide.
The hosts had a difficult last few minutes when they were reduced to 10 men following McGuffie's dismissal for a second yellow card, though they wrapped it up on the 89th minute.
Baningime picked up the ball, before beating two players and striking his low shot past the goalkeeper.
Latics: Jones, Trialist, Galvin, Obi, Long, Weir, Culshaw, McGuffie, Joseph, Berry, Baningime
Subs: O'Neill, H.Jolley, C.Jolley, Smith, Robinson
Baningime, who started in Latics’ win, was delighted to seal the win with his goal:
“It was a great win after a very tough game, I thought the opposition played well and made it hard for us”, he said.
“I was delighted with the goal, I’m just happy to get on the scoresheet and help the team, especially in tough conditions towards the end, it was a good feeling.”
The forward also praised the impact of Berry, who scored a brace in the victory:
“He’s a great goal scorer, he made an impact today with his two goals and i’m pleased for him.”