Late Redmond strike earns Latics a point but it could have been more
CREWE ALEXANDRA UNDER 21S 1
WIGAN ATHLETIC UNDER 21S 1
Danny Redmond salvaged Latics a late point in a dominant second half display which could have ended in victory as Graham Barrow’s side were denied a late penalty for handball.
Crewe took the lead six minutes before half time after Latics failed to clear a free kick but the game was dominated in possession by the away side.
Barrow made five changes for today’s game, with first team squad players Mauro Boselli, Callum McManaman and Fraser Fyvie all not making the trip.
Jordan Mustoe was suspended and Jonathan Lynch replaced at the back by Roman Golobart who made his first appearance since returning from his loan spell at Tranmere Rovers.
The first half didn’t run as smoothly as Latics would have hoped and they found themselves having to defend numerous set pieces as Crewe looked to take advantage of their aerial presence.
Despite that, the first clear-cut chance fell to Rakish Bingham when he was played in on the right side of the box by Guillermo Andres.
The striker’s shot was low and hard but Crewe goalkeeper ben Garratt met it well with his feet.
With the only threat coming in the air, Latics paid the price on 38 minutes when a low free kick from Oliver Turton was parried by Calvin Hare.
The ball bounced unfortunately back up into the air and George Ray was on hand at the back post to nod the ball home.
Crewe pushed hard for the remaining minutes of the first half but Latics held firm, giving them a good chance to bite back in the second 45.
The second half was shot after shot and attack after attack, with the first coming just two minutes after the break when Jamie McCormack made his way forward but dragged his shot just wide of the post.
The eventual goal scorer Redmond looked the most likely to make things happen for Latics and he almost levelled on 54 minutes when he curled a left footed shot just wide of the post.
A brace of shots from Captain Tim Chow stung the goalkeeper’s palms but, Latics had to be patient to break down a stubborn Crewe defence.
Adam Buxton also tested Garratt when he lashed a low drive towards the bottom corner but, the Crewe ‘keeper again turned the ball away.
Chow then looked certain to head Latics level as he lurked at the back post to nod in Callum Morris deep cross but, just as he looked to get on the end of it up popped Ray to flick the ball just over Chow’s head.
Chance after chance went by for Latics as they looked destined to be on the end of some serious bad luck but then up stepped Redmond to score his third of the season.
The tricky Josh Sumner was released down the right wing and with some clever attacking play he threaded the ball to Redmond on the edge of the area.
The 21-year-old looked up, spotted a gap in the defence and rattled the ball onto the under-side of the cross bar and down into the back of the net.
It was a fine way to squash the Crewe resolve and three minutes later, a minute in stoppage time, Latics should have been given the chance to wrap up the three points.
Fine wing play by substitute Jonathan Lynch saw him reach the by-line to whip in a cross, only for the ball to cannon off the arm of Adam Dugdale to which the referee waved play on.
It was a decision Latics can feel aggrieved by but the main thing for them is that they battled hard in the second half and got a well-deserved point.
Crewe: Garratt, Appleton (Moores 65), Robertson, Dugdale, Ray, Guthrie, Daniels, Turton, Clayton (White 33), Waters, Nolan
Unused Subs: Gorman, Wilson
Latics: Hare, Golobart, Buxton, McCormack, Morris, Chow, Redmond, Boothman, Sumner, Andres (Watson 67), Bingham (Lynch 78)
Unused Subs: Cottrill, Langley, Aylmer