Latics lose out to Welsh champions at Robin Park
WIGAN ATHLETIC U21s 0
THE NEW SAINTS 1
After a first half of missed chances, The New Saints made Latics pay when Chris Jones’ low drive nestled into the bottom corner on the hour mark in the behind closed doors friendly at Robin Park.
Latics battled hard throughout as they fielded a youthful team that included under 18s defender Michael Wilson and saw midfielder Joel Kerwin introduced in the second half.
The game almost started with Latics dropping behind on seven minutes when Chris Sargeant pounced on parry by Michael Cottrill but, saw his shot from point blank range bravely blocked by young defender Wilson on the line.
Latics stepped up a gear after the early scare and on a number of chances, through balls from midfield would split the TNS defence.
First Steven Boothman broke rapidly down the left wing before playing in Rakish Bingham one-on-one with ‘keeper Paul Harrison, who made himself big and blocked the strikers low, hard drive.
It was then Tim Chow’s turn to carve a ball out behind the TNS backline but once again Bingham was denied as he advanced towards goal.
The best chance of the first half fell to Jack Phillips who capitalised on a poor clearance and drilled a shot from around the penalty spot into the grateful goalkeepers arms.
The changes were plenty at half time as Peter Aylmer, Jesjua Angoy and Abubakar Sheego replaced Phillips, Guillermo Andres and Bingham.
Just seven minutes after the start of the second 45, Jesjua Angoy had a perfect chance to tee up a team mate when he powered his way down the left wing but, as he cut inside he went for glory and curled his shot wide of the post
TNS made missed chances pay on the hour mark when a dangerous free kick wasn’t quite cleared and after a melee inside Latics’ box, the ball fell away to Chris Jones outside the area who drilled his shot low and into the bottom corner.
The visitors made it hard for Latics to get the ball down and play in the second half with their direct style of football.
Chances to equalise came late on.
First Josh Sumner whipped a dangerous and inviting ball towards the front post but nobody gambled and then substitute Kerwin stung the keepers’ gloves from 30 yards but it was parried out of danger.
The 1-0 defeat marks the end of Latics pre-season schedule with the under 21s starting their schedule against Leicester City at Robin Park on Monday 20th August.
Latics: Cottrill, Wilson, Langley, Lynch, Morris, Boothman, Chow (Kerwin 75), Phillips (Aylmer 45), Sumner, Bingham (Jesjua Angoy 45), Andres (Sheego 45)
TNS: Harrison (Ramsey 45), Spender, Marriot, Baker(Evans 45), K,Edwards, A,Edwards (Breeze 45), Finley (Ruscoe 45), Sargeant (Allen 75), Fraughan (Simms 56), Quigley, C,Jones (R,Jones 62)
Unused Sub: Dennis
Kick off time was 2:00pm