Latics put four past Accrington Stanley to make it two wins from two in the EFL Youth Alliance Cup.
- U18 Report: Wigan Athletic 5 – 0 Accrington Stanley
- Latics maintain 100% record in the EFL Youth Alliance Cup
- Kyle Joseph and Charlie Jolley doubles and a strike from Mitchell Culshaw secure the win
WIGAN ATHLETIC U18 5
Joseph 6, 50
C. Jolley 64, 75 (pen)
ACCRINGTON STANLEY U18 0
Wigan Athletic’s under-18s made it two wins from two in the Youth Alliance Cup after a dominant second-half display with three goals in the space of 14 minutes at Christopher Park.
Latics had the perfect start after they opened the scoring inside six minutes; Emika Obi’s towering header was cleared off the line from Jensen Weir’s corner, only for Kyle Joseph to be on hand to head in the rebound and score his ninth goal of the season.
The hosts had the chance to double their lead soon after, though Divin Baningime’s powerful drive was palmed away by the Accrington goalkeeper.
Despite a spell of pressure from the visitors, Latics continued to look dangerous going forward and arguably should have doubled their lead. Mitchell Culshaw broke forward, but the midfielder was unable to pick out striker Joseph after an inspired run down the right-hand side.
Scotland youth international, Joseph, had the ball in the net for a second time, but the goal was ruled offside following his diving header from Ollie Broe’s cleverly chipped ball.
Latics wanted to end the half on the strong foot and almost did exactly that, right-back Broe was involved again soon after, Joseph’s ball in was cleared after good work from Luke Robinson, and the defender’s sweetly struck half-volley sailed just over the bar from the edge of the box.
The momentum continued at the start of the second half and Latics got their reward, Culshaw’s intelligent pass found McGuffie and the captain’s pull-back found the in-form Joseph who was never in doubt from six yards out.
Culshaw, who had a hand in the second goal, got his first in the Youth Alliance Cup just four minutes later as the returning Joe Gelhardt’s powerful run allowed the space for Culshaw in the area and he took advantage to power his effort into the top corner, putting the hosts in cruise control.
The visitors came close to a consolation goal but Bobby Jones denied them, only for Latics to break up the other end and add their fourth of the game.
Charlie Jolley, who missed the last few games through an injury, marked his return with a goal. The striker cut inside onto his favourite left-foot to strike low past the goalkeeper.
The striker then added his second from the penalty spot with 15 minutes to go. The visitors were also dismissed to ten men after the resulting challenge.
Weir, who had a hand in Latics’ opening goal, said he was pleased with the victory:
“It’s a great win in the end, after a tough start to the game but we deserved it.
“I think as a team we’re performing well, we just need to keep hold of that until the end of the game”, he said.
The midfielder also reflected on his international duty with the England U17’s next week:
“I’m looking forward to it, I hope I can become a better player from it and add goals to my game, as well as just keeping on learning from those around me.
Latics: Jones, Broe, Robinson (Roberts 62), Obi, Long (H.Jolley 68), Weir, Culshaw, McGuffie (capt) (Smith 68), Joseph (C.Jolley 62), Gelhardt, Baningime (O’Neil 68)