Latics left to rue missed opportunities despite good performance
NORTHWICH VICTORIA 3
Evans 11, 19, 53
WIGAN ATHLETIC 2
Latics’ Under 21 team continued their pre-season preparations at Valley Road on Saturday afternoon, but suffered disappointment following a 3-2 defeat to Northwich Victoria.
Goals from Captain Danny Redmond and Spanish forward Guillermo Andres helped the team fight back into the game, and give some reward for an overall positive performance, but they could not cancel out a Tony Evans hat-trick, scored either side of the break for the home team.
The visitors started brightly against their senior opponents, putting pressure on the defence from the off and creating numerous good chances in the opening quarters with the scores level.
First Redmond, then Jordan Flores and Omar Thompson all saw sight of goal from inside the penalty area, but neither could find the composure to affect the scoreline.
Then, somewhat against the run of play, a dangerous cross from the left wing found Northwich striker Evans in space on the edge of the six-yard box and the tall striker duly headed into the top corner past Marko Marosi.
Barely ten minutes later the forward would claim his second from close-range, but not before Redmond had again forced a save from Tim Deacy in helping to push Latics back into the game.
Redmond was in fine form, a constant battler in the midfield, cool in possession to link up the midfield with the impressive Ryan Meadows playing alongside him and finally getting himself on the scoresheet just before the break, when Joey Johnson’s squared ball to the edge of the area was tucked away by his team-mate into the bottom right corner.
Northwich Manager and former Latics player Lee Ashcroft rang the changes at half-time to give his side fresh legs, but again it was the visitors who looked brighter. However, again, it was Evans who found space at the wrong end of the field to nudge home a third and seal his hat-trick.
Latics again stepped up their work rate with Johnson looking a threat, the impressive Liam Lambert, making the step up from the Under 18 team, looking very assured at left-back together and Ryan Jennings working hard to create down the left channel, before Redmond was fouled on the edge of the area.
Andres perfectly executed the free-kick into the top right corner moments later to put Latics to within a goal of levelling up, but despite numerous glorious chances falling the way of the away team, they just couldn’t find a way of grabbing a third goal their efforts would have deserved.
A disheartening scoreline for the team but a performance they can take many lessons from before their next pre-season match against Barnoldswick Town on Wednesday 31 August.
Latics: Marosi; Ainscough (Lambert, 46), Wilson, Gibson, Mustoe, Jennings, Meadows, Redmond, Flores (Johnson, 35), Thompson (Trialist, 58), Andres