Latics undone in end-to-end game at Christopher Park
WIGAN ATHLETIC UNDER 18S 0
CREWE ALEXANDRA UNDER 18S 4
Crewe Alexandra had the game wrapped up in the first half with all four goals but, they’ll be thanking former Latics goalkeeper Robbie Johnson who made a string of fine saves to keep John Doolan’s side out.
Counter attacks and set pieces had John Latics unstuck in a game that could quite easily have been the other way around or a 4-4 draw.
It was a fast and furious start to the game and on the break Crewe opened the scoring early when Dominic Smith advanced down the right side and checked the ball back to James Jones.
Jones kept the ball flowing into the centre and in came Brandon Moores, unmarked to thunder the ball home.
Latics hit back hard as they attacked time after time.
The first genuine chance fell on 14 minutes to the impressive Omar Thompson who got onto the end of a precise Luke Ainscough through ball but, saw his curling shot tipped around the post by in-form Crewe ‘keeper Johnson.
A minute later and in the theme of the game the away side doubled their lead as an attack from Latics turned into the defence of a corner.
Crewe striker Callum Saunders was left unmarked in the six-yard box as a flat corner caught the defence out at the front post, Saunders simply side footed the low ball in for 2-0.
Latics continued to be frustrated by Johnson in the Crewe goal and half way through the first half he pulled off another save from a stunning Paddy Christian drive from all of 30 yards.
Moments later Thompson had another chance to beat the keeper when Jordan Flores slid him in on the left side of the area but, the precise low shot was again forced away by Johnson.
Despite looking the most likely to score after constant pressure, Latics were hit with a sucker punch when another corner was dealt with and from the middle of the area and unmarked James Jones thumped the ball through a melee of players.
Five minutes later it was 4-0 and the game was cruelly beyond Latics.
A long ball over the top from defence was pounced on by Moores who ran the ball into the corner.
The danger wasn’t dealt with and his cut back to Jones was then curled from the edge of the area onto the head of Smith who planted the ball beyond Michael Cottrill.
A goal before half time would have given Latics a chance but Michael Wilson’s header from Christian’s corner was scrambled off the line.
The second half went by without the drama of the first as both goalkeepers kept their opposition at bay.
Latics were left deflated and frustrated in a game which on another day could have been a 4-0 victory of their own.
Latics: Cottrill, Leigh, Johnstone (Gibson 74), Christian, Wilson, Mason, Hamilton (Meadows 74), Ainscough, Thompson, J,Johnson, Flores (Anderson 51)
Unused Sub: Hare
Crewe: R, Johnson, Baillie, Ng, Howell, L, Johnson, Gorman, Wilson, Jones, Smith (Speed 70), Saunders (Cooper 61), Moores (Mullarkey 78)
Unused Subs: Alcock, Tyson