Latics unbeaten start ends in game of top quality goals
LEEDS UNITED UNDER 21s 3
WIGAN ATHLETIC UNDER 21s 1
In the historical football venue of Elland Road, Latics and Leeds chipped in with goals you would expect to see in the stadium on a regular basis.
Daniel Redmond continued to impress for the Under 21s, scoring a solo goal to rival that of Lionel Messi but, Leeds were too strong and a Peter Poloskei header and two wonder strikes by Dominic Poleon and Zac Thompson cost Latics dear.
It was a solid start to the game by Latics who were given room to stroke the ball around.
Steven Boothman looked particularly dangerous down the left hand side and he and Redmond linked up well.
Just as Graham Barrow’s side looked to be in the ascendency the game took a twist.
The knee of Leeds’ midfielder Ramon Nunez also took a twist when he got his studs caught in the ground which sent the Honduran to the ground with an ear piercing scream of anguish.
It was a moment that looked like it may have knocked Leeds’ concentration but, it did the exact opposite and kicked them into life.
On 27 minutes Leeds opened the scoring when former Latics Under 21 Sean Myler played a pass in behind Edu Campabadal and Patrick Antelmi curled in a cross onto the head of Poloskei who guided the ball into the bottom corner.
Latics needed to respond quickly but Leeds just kept on coming and nothing was going to stop striker Poleon when he struck in the second just two minutes later.
It was Simon Leniguan who got Poleon into space but, the forward’s first touch was of the highest quality as he knocked it through his own legs with a clever flick.
The shot that followed was just as impressive as he bent the ball around Latics’ ‘keeper Calvin Hare and into the top corner.
As the game headed into half time, it was Hare that made sure Leeds didn’t get a third when he superbly saved a shot from Antelmi that looked destined for the bottom corner of the goal.
After half time Latics came out firing and had rebuilt their confidence.
It took just six minutes of the second half to pull a goal back when Redmond dribbled round four Leeds defenders and even goalkeeper Paul Rachubka to slot it in for 2-1.
Two minutes later though Leeds restored their two goal lead with another spectacular effort when defender Thompson side footed the ball from 20 yards over Hare to make it 3-1.
It was a bolt out of the blue for Latics as he hit it first time and gave the defence and ‘keeper little time to react.
Latics pushed and pushed to drag the game back to a draw but Rachubka was on hand to stop them at every opportunity.
Rakish Bingham had a volley tipped around the post on 66 minutes, before both Josh Sumner and Redmond had long range efforts saved well.
Substitute Guillermo Andres also had a late chance when he turned defenders in the box but once again the grateful Rachubka gathered a tame shot into his arms.
For long periods of the game it was Latics who were on top but the quality of the goals caught them out in what was a tough afternoon in Yorkshire’s searing heat.
Leeds team: Rachubka, N,Turner, L,Turner, Thompson, Killock, Kisnorbo, Antelmi (Clamp 82), Leniguan, Poloskei, Nunez (Myler 17), Poleon (Walters 90+2)
Unused Subs: Atkinson, Gimpel
Latics team: Hare, Campabadal (Angoy 57), Boothman (Andres 77), McCormack, Langley, Mustoe, Chow, Morris, Bingham, Sumner (Sheego 74), Redmond
Unused Subs: Andres, Angoy, Sheego