Impressive first half display in entertaining season opener
WIGAN ATHLETIC UNDER 21s 2
Redmond 51 (pen)
LEICESTER CITY UNDER 21s 2
The curtain raiser for Latics Under 21 season didn’t disappoint in terms of action today, as first half goals from Callum McManaman and a Daniel Redmond penalty were pegged back in the second with two forceful Leicester City attacks.
Latics were firmly on top and made Leicester pay in the first half but as the game drew on and bodies got tired, Tom Hopper and Harry Panayiotou dealt the blow.
It was a bright start from the home side as they looked to be enjoying every minute of their football.
After probing approaches forward, the opening goal wasn’t too far off.
On 22 minutes, Callum McManaman showed just why he is so highly rated when he linked up with summer signing Fraser Fyvie on the half way line and then set off on his own to score.
His foot work and strength beat two defenders as he gave himself a chance to shoot from the edge of the area, and with one powerful right boot he drove the ball into the bottom corner, leaving Leicester keeper Conrad Logan with no chance.
Latics domination was showing as the half went on, with Daniel Redmond and Jordan Mustoe linking up impressively down the left.
But, it was McManaman again providing the chances when he dribbled the ball down the left and played it back to Josh Sumner who worked himself a shooting opportunity on the edge of the area.
The shot was a real tester and almost crept into the top corner but Logan just managed to pick it out as he back-tracked.
Just after the half time mark Latics made it 2-0.
Edu Campabadal put the Leicester defence to the sword when he powered his way down the right wing before cutting inside and being tumbled over by Cian Bolger.
It was a clear penalty from a clumsy challenge but, credit has to go to the Spaniard who would otherwise have carved himself out a chance.
Up stepped Redmond to convert and as calm as you like he sent the keeper the wrong way and placed it home to double the lead.
Leicester suddenly kicked into a higher gear from then on and Tom Hopper was proving a real trouble maker.
After 66 minutes he made his mark, chesting down a Paul Gallagher cross and slipping the ball underneath Calvin Hare, who in all fairness almost made a great save.
Moments later McManaman found himself through one-on-one but, that little bit of luck needed for Hare in Latics’ goal was given to Logan in Leicester’s as he saved with his feet in a chance that almost mirrored the Hopper goal.
Five minutes from time, the heavy Leicester pressure from the long ball tactic paid off when Hopper forced Roman Golobart into an error that saw the striker straight through on goal.
He just had Hare to beat but, squared the ball to team mate Harry Panayiotou who placed the ball into an empty net.
The time just began to tick away after that and despite their efforts to push forward, the game was played out to a draw.
After the game, coach Dennis Lawrence shared his thoughts on a game that he felt Latics should have closed out.
“We totally dominated at the start of the game and that was really pleasing to see.
“We’ve been left disappointed though because we’ve gone from such control to almost hanging on for a point.
“The lads are still young and developing their game though, which gives us something to improve on as the season progresses.”
Latics team: Hare, Campabadal, Kiernan, Golobart, Mustoe, Redmond, Sumner (Angoy 80), Chow (Morris 80), Fyvie, Orsula (Andres 71), McManaman
Unused Subs: Cottrill (GK), Bingham
Leicester team: Logan, Sesay (Pearson 67), Kennedy, Jones, Bolger, Taft, Gallagher, Dobbs, Blyth (Maduako 59), Hopper, Panayiotou
Unused Subs: Brennan, Smith