Thompson and Johnson braces give Latics their first win of the season
WIGAN ATHLETIC U18 4
Johnson 21, 90+2
Thompson 47, 55
SHEFFIELD UNITED U18 2
The young Latics got their season truly underway and in style with Omar Thompson and Joey Johnson netting twice each despite two attempted come backs by Sheffield United and going down to ten men when Joel Kerwin saw red.
Latics Under 18s' manager John Doolan will be happy with the rotation of his squad as well as he brought in Ellis Gibbons, Danny Leigh and Luke Ainscough to start the game.
The away side put the pressure on early on but Latics stayed firm in defence and the stubbornness of the back four frustrated the Blades.
Thompson looked dangerous early on when he stung the goalkeepers' gloves after six minutes from range.
It was Johnson who got on the score sheet first though but, it was his partner up front who set him up.
Thompson battled his way down the right with power before crossing to the front post for Johnson to side foot it home.
It could have been 2-0 just three minutes later when neat interchange between Bradley Anderson and Johnson on the left saw Anderson curl one onto the post as he cut inside.
Latics were piling on pressure and just before half time came another chance when once again Thompson forced his way down the right, cutting inside and hitting a left foot shot onto the outside of the post.
It could have been three or four by half time but, straight after the break the home side capitalised, and from a goalkeeping mistake from Bram Johnstone's free kick Thompson doubled the lead with a close range finish.
On 53 minutes the revival looked to be on when Otis Khan's free kick from wide on the left deceived the defence and keeper and drifted into the back post.
It got a little more complicated 10 minutes later when the referee deemed Kerwin solid challenge to be a lunge and showed him a straight red card.
The Blades piled on even more pressure but the defence stood firm and Johnson and Anderson looked dangerous on the counter attack.
Right back Danny Leigh proved useful on the counter as well with his pace down the wing, twice cutting inside to shoot with his left foot.
On the 90th minute the nerves jangled a little more when Sheffield United substitute Jamie Fyre rose above the defence to head in at the back post from a corner.
A deserved victory looked like it might slip away but the tenacity and courage of Joey Johnson sealed the victory.
It was as route one as goals come when a long ball from Latics' goalkeeper bounced high in the Blades' half, it was 50-50 between Johnson and the opposing keeper with Latics' forward jumping higher to win the clash and tap home as the ball came down from the air.
The full time score looked like a strong win for Latics but in truth it could have been even more and the momentum gained from the win could be seen on the players' faces at the end of the game.
Latics: Trialist, Leigh, Johnstone, Christian, Wilson, Gibbons, Kerwin, Ainscough, Thompson, Johnson, Anderson (Mason 77)
Unused Subs: Flores, Meadows, Gibson, Hamilton
Sheff Utd: Lynch, Payling, Piak, Whiteman, Scarsbrick, Williams, Khan, Dimaio, Smith, De Girolamo, Heather
Subs: Fyre, Owen, Coustrain, McDonough