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19 October 2013

Latics claim late equaliser in eight goal thriller at Christopher Park.

Cosgrove 25 (pen), 38
Harrison 69
Hamilton 90


After taking a two goal lead in the first half, Latics were left faced with a two goal deficit midway through the second half, but they battled back to claim a point in an exciting feast of goals at Christopher Park.

A Sam Cosgrove double gave Latics a 2-0 lead, but Bury had themselves level by the break and were 4-2 up with just 20 minutes to play.

Sean Harrison's header from a corner and Matty Hamilton's sweeping finish with almost the last kick of the game showed the team's character as John Doolan's men secured a point to make it five games without defeat.

Latics took the lead from the penalty spot after 25 minutes, when a perfect defence splitting pass from Hamilton allowed Declan Poole to advance into the area down the left, only to be clumsily tripped, leaving the referee no choice but to point to the spot.

Striker Cosgrove stepped up and secured his 10th goal of the season for the opener.

The pacey and powerful forward doubled Latics' lead 13 minutes later, this time opportunistically as he lurked in the area to head in from close range following Hamilton's volleyed attempt off the cross bar.

A minute later and Bury found their route back into the match when they scored with a front post header from a corner.

Three minutes before half time it was all square and Latics' good work had been undone, when a low free kick into the penalty area was turned in by Hamilton for an own goal.

After half time the young Shakers continued their efforts and found themselves ahead just before the hour mark, when a failed attempt at a shot from the edge of the area trickled through to the Bury striker who turned well inside the box to slot home to Latics goalkeeper Yusuf Mersin's left.

Things got worse before they got better for Latics and on 69 minutes Bury made it 4-2, this time they were gifted a run in on goal when Harrison's low headed clearance attempt skimmed through to the Bury forward, he cut inside of right back Luke Burke and placed a well timed effort low into the left hand corner.

Two minutes later Harrison made amends for his mistake and this time a firm header from a corner gave Latics hope with 19 minutes to go.

Latics battled to create chances and Hamilton almost equalised with the move of the game as he dribbled past two Bury defenders, but couldn't find the finish one-on-one as the ball went agonisingly wide.

Hamilton was back up on his feet and celebrating though with almost the last kick off the game as a mistake from the Bury goalkeeper from a free kick created havoc in the penalty area, with Hamilton sweeping the ball in to end a thrilling encounter.

That's not were it ends for Latics and Bury though, as the teams face each other once again, this coming Tuesday in the first round of the Lancashire FA Youth Cup.

After the game, Under 18 coach John Doolan said he was happy at remaining unbeaten, but admits Latics should have capitalised on their two goal lead in the first half:

"I thought we were very good in the first 35 minutes or so, but we see it as a missed opportunity because of the lead we had.

"Full credit to the lads for getting back on level terms after going 4-2 down because we only had 20 minutes left to pull out a result.

"We're five games unbeaten now which is a significant improvement on last season."

Latics: Mersin, Burke, Anson, Harrison, Balogun, Carey (Flores 45), Foukamene (Bannister 85), Poole, McNally (Lambert 63), Hamilton, Cosgrove

** Latics are back in action on Tuesday 22 October when they travel to face Bury in the Lancashire FA Youth Cup first round. Updates from the game at Fives Athletic, Walkden, will be available on @LaticsOfficial **

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