Latics back on track as Cosgrove ups season tally to 17 with a double.WIGAN ATHLETIC 3
Cosgrove 17. 41
CARLISLE UNITED 2
After three consecutive defeats, John Doolan's Latics sprung back with a victory at Robin Park Arena, coming from 1-0 down early on to win 3-2 as Jordan Flores equalised and in form striker Sam Cosgrove netted a double to edge the game away from the visitors Carlisle United.
The Cumbrians grabbed a second goal on the hour mark through Jason Blackburn to make the final half an hour uncomfortable, but Latics' impressive first half performance was enough to see the score line out to pick up all three points.
A week a go the two sides met in Carlisle, where the hosts ended up on top 3-1, but Latics turned their fortunes around this time with a forceful attacking display.
The theme of the game was set from kick off in the first half, when Matthew Hamilton dribbled with the ball from just inside the Carlisle half, before being tumbled in the area from a barging challenge.
No penalty given and a slight injury picked up for the forward, but it was a statement of intent for what was to come.
Six minutes Cosgrove almost opened the scoring, when Flores and Declan Poole exchanged in the middle, with Poole finding Cosgrove down the left side and from a tight angle the striker struck the near post.
Two minutes later and against the run of play, Carlisle's Danny Hodgson stole in at the back post to give his side the lead from their first attack of the match.
Latics kept their heads up and a minute later should have been level when Cosgrove, now operating on the right, found Louis Robles in the area, but the forward clipped the ball wide of the left post on the stretch from six yards.
Robles redeemed himself soon after though, providing a teasing cross to the back post for Flores to turn in and equalise.
Latics were firing on all cylinders and attack-after-attack soon led to another goal, but not after Robles had one disallowed for a foul on the Carlisle goalkeeper.
On 17 minutes Cosgrove curled in his first of the game, trapping a pass on the left side of the area before shifting his weight from left to right and bending the ball into the bottom right corner.
At 2-1 Latics were brimming with confidence and the combinations of Poole, Hamilton, Cosgrove and Robles had Carlisle backed into a corner.
Time took its toll on the visitors and on 41 minutes Latics grabbed a deserved third.
Under 16 midfielder, but Under 18 regular Joshua Gregory slipped Cosgrove in down the right side and taking the ball in his stride beyond the defender, the striker whipped the ball across the goalkeeper and into the bottom left corner.
The second half was a closer affair and two minutes before Carlisle grabbed that unnerving second goal, Cosgrove provided Latics best chance to add to their tally when his cut back trickled agonisingly across the area with nobody to finish it off.
Striking back with 30 minutes remaining gave Carlisle a chance of a comeback, when Jason Blackburn burst through the middle of Latics' defence and slotted past Callum Mulby into the bottom right corner.
Latics remained professional though, and should have had a fourth goal before the end.
Robles was involved again as he escaped down the right side and struck fiercely at the Carlisle keeper who couldn't hold his shot.
Instead the ball fell behind the stopper and looked to be creeping in, but hunting for his hat trick an offside Cosgrove tucked the ball in, much to the despair of Robles.
And so the battle between 11th and 12th in the Youth Alliance came to an end, with Latics recording their fifth league win of the season to move level on points with eighth and ninth placed Burnley and Preston North End.
Next up for the Under 18s is a December 7 trip to Lincoln City in the Youth Alliance Cup second round.
Latics: Mulby, Leigh, Harrison, Anson, Balogun, Gregory, Poole, Flores (McNally 79), Robles, Hamilton, Cosgrove.