Latics make it the perfect ten after putting four past Tranmere Rovers on Saturday morning.
- U18 Report: Tranmere Rovers 1 – 4 Wigan Athletic
- Kyle Joseph (2), Joe Gelhardt and Charlie Jolley make it ten from ten for Latics
- Defender Luke Robinson: “We reacted well after they scored and got a penalty ourselves so that shows our spirit to keep on going.”
TRANMERE ROVERS U18 1
WIGAN ATHLETIC U18 4
Joseph 17, 43
Wigan Athletic under-18s made it ten successive wins in the Youth Alliance after putting four past Tranmere Rovers, including a brace for forward Kyle Joseph and a goal each for Joe Gelhardt and Charlie Jolley.
Despite a cagey opening 10 minutes to the game, Latics had two chances in quick succession. Luke Robinson’s floated cross was not dealt with and forward Kyle Joseph was unable to divert his latched effort goalwards.
The latter was involved again minutes later after Charlie Jolley’s pass, but the Scotland youth international’s effort lacked any conviction.
Though, the forward made no mistake with his next opportunity to put the visitors in front. Robinson found Jolley with a clever pass and his effort was blocked, before the ball fell kindly for Joseph to beat the keeper from close range.
Latics were in full flow and could have had a second moments later, Scott Smith’s searching ball found Ollie Broe, whose terrific first-time ball found Jolley, but the striker’s header was off target.
Left- back Luke Robinson, who made his youth international debut for Scotland against Uzbekistan, almost got his first goal of the season. Divin Baningime’s pass found the defender in space but his low shot went just wide after a mazy run past the Tranmere defence.
The Scotland pair were involved again and Latics should have doubled their lead with less than 10 minutes to go before half-time.
Robinson’s disguised pass found Joseph and the forwards drilled cross was met by Jolley, but the striker’s effort came back off the post.
Latics extended their lead just before half-time, Joe Gelhardt beat his man and played a clever ball for Joseph who dispatched his effort past the keeper.
The visitors got a third moments later, substitute Harry Jolley drove into space and his cut-back found England youth international Gelhardt, who executed his shot perfectly to grab his third goal in his last four games.
Latics started the second half in the same fashion and could have had their fourth. Jensen Weir’s corner was met by Adam Long who rose highest, but the defender’s header was cleared off the line.
Tranmere Rovers had the chance to pull one back in the 70th minute, though Latics goalkeeper Bobby Jones was equal to the effort and made a comfortable save.
Though, the hosts got their goal just minutes later after the referee pointed to the spot, with the penalty being converted.
Latics were awarded a penalty of their own with just under 10 minutes to go, an error in midfield left Baningime with the space to run into and the forward’s bright run resulted in him being brought down in the box.
Charlie Jolley stepped up to regain Latics’ three goal advantage, dispatching the penalty calmly past the goalkeeper.
Substitute Mitchell Culshaw was denied twice in the final few minutes, after his initial effort was saved before his left-footed rebound was blocked on the line.
Defender Luke Robinson, who earned his first international call cup in the week, said Latics deserved the three points:
“I thought we worked hard today, we got three good goals in the first half.
“We reacted well after they scored and got a penalty ourselves so that shows our spirit to keep on going”, he said.
The left-back also reflected on his call up for Scotland:
“It was a surprise for me, but I’m so grateful for the opportunity.
“Last week in Marbella, it was such a good experience alongside my team-mate Kyle.”