Latics’ Under 18s beaten by two first half goals.
WIGAN ATHLETIC UNDER 18s 0
BIRMINGHAM CITY UNDER 18s 2
Early chances for Latics in both halves were rued as Birmingham City proved clinical in their finishing to have a 2-0 lead by the half way mark.
A youthful Latics team put on a good show throughout as Under 16 players Dieuleueu Foukamene, Omar Daley and a trialist looked to try and impress coaches John Doolan and Joe Parkinson.
There were several players out injured and some were set to feature for the Under 21s, which gave chances to the likes of Christian Mather and Ellis Gibbons who themselves have missed large spells of the season through injury.
The home side could have been 2-0 up within 10 minutes of the first half with excellent chances one-on-one for both Omar Thompson and Ryan Jennings but Birmingham goalkeeper Callum Preston was equal to both.
It was a fast and furious start with Latics upping the pressure on Birmingham and looking the most likely to take the lead but, on 17 minutes Deqwon Ebanks took advantage of a misplaced throw in by Bram Johnstone, with the forward intercepting and catching the defence off guard to run through on goal and slot the ball past Calvin Hare.
Birmingham began to grow into the game after scoring against the run of play and 10 minutes later they had doubled their lead when a free kick from outside the area was deflected off Latics’ wall and into the path of Foday Nabay at the back post who stabbed the ball into an open goal.
Latics would be right to feel unlucky having dominated the opening exchanges and to their credit they came out in the second half in the same positive attitude.
It was once again Thompson and Jennings causing the Birmingham defence problems but once again they both missed out on one-on-ones.
The best of the two chances fell to Jennings who avoided the challenges of two defenders on the half way line and advanced on goal.
He looked to chip the out-coming keeper Preston and did so but could only find the side netting.
On a heavy surface at Christopher Park both sides continued to play the ball well and the game remained competitive right up until the final whistle.
Latics: Hare, Gibson (Carey 75), Johnstone, Mather, Wilson, Gibbons, Thompson, Hamilton, A.Trialist, Jennings, Flores (Foukamene 75)
Birmingham: Preston, Bernard, Moseley, Brown, Kalenda, Kelly, Nabay, Truslove, Ebanks, O’Neil, Gray