WIGAN ATHLETIC UNDER 18s 3
Hamilton 32, 53
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN UNDER 18s 3
Latics got their Professional Development League campaign back up and running after their winter break with a thrilling 3-3 home draw against a physical Huddersfield Town.
John Doolan and Joe Parkinson had to call upon younger academy players, Liam Lambert, Sean Harrison and Joshua Gregory as the squad was rotated due to a handful of players being involved with the Under 21s.
It was a tough start at Christopher Park when Latics fell behind after 13 minutes when a long ball through the defence left Michael Cottrill to fend for himself as the Huddersfield forward took the ball round him to score.
Ellis Gibbons was forced off with injury shortly after the goal after colliding with the post, leading to the introduction of Harrison.
Just 10 minutes later Huddersfield doubled their lead when a free header at the back post from a set piece was thumped in for 2-0.
Latics were quick to react to falling further behind and some excellent play proved fruitful as Huddersfield scored an own goal.
Jordan Flores worked the ball down the left before playing inside for Christian Mather to switch the play to Joel Kerwin on the right.
Kerwin’s excellent ball into the box needed just a touch to score and unfortunately for Huddersfield it was one of their own that made it 2-1.
Latics looked determined not to stay behind for long and on 32 minutes Matty Hamilton scored his first of two goals when he ran round to the back post and nodded in Flores’ pin point free kick.
At half time Latics looked the stronger team and they carried their momentum into the second 45, looking much stronger at the back and with Mather controlling the tempo in midfield.
Flores was also lively as a makeshift left back and his pace caused problems that unsettled the Terriers’ back line.
Substitute Ryan Jennings’ trickery had Huddersfield on the back foot just seven minutes into the second half when his cross deflected high into the air, leaving Hamilton to do the rest as he rose high into the air to spectacularly bicycle kick the ball in for 3-2.
With 12 minutes to go Latics were hit with a blow as Huddersfield clawed it back to 3-3 as a deflected cross sneaked in at the front post down the hosts’ left side.
After the game John Doolan expressed his satisfaction with an impressive team performance, he said:
“We had to change the team a little today because of some of our players being involved with the Under 21s and the players that came in made their impact known.
“There were three young players from lower age groups that were all used and contributed well to the team.
“As a team we keep on improving, the results are starting to come in and we’re in for an exciting second half of the season.”
Latics: Cottrill, Kerwin, Lambert (Jennings 43), Mather, Gibson, Gibbons (Harrison 13), Hamilton, Ainscough, Thompson (Gregory 77), Anderson, Flores