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14 April 2014

Drama in the final league game as Latics suffer cruel late defeat against Morecambe.

A stoppage time winner from Daniel Dunleavy proved a cruel end to an exciting second half display from Latics, with Morecambe clinching the game with the last kick to run out 2-1 winners at the Globe Arena.

Woods 20
Dunleavy 90+3

Chow 79

An onslaught of second half chances were not enough for Latics to end the Final Third Development League campaign with a victory and despite Tim Chow's 79th minute strike pulling Peter Atherton's side level, Morecambe went on to dramatically claim all three points in the third minute of injury time.

The Shrimps took the lead at the Globe Arena after Tom Woods followed in a penalty save by Marko Marosi, but a fierce fight back in the second half, which included three hits of the right post, eventually saw Chow score the goal he deserved to level the game.

Dunleavy's break away in second half injury time was a harsh way to end proceedings for Latics.

After sealing the league title last week with a 1-0 victory over Tranmere Rovers, Latics started from where they left off, dragging Morecambe from side-to-side with expansive wide play, a key characteristic of the side's play.

The ever-dangerous Ryan Jennings was a key threat for Latics, but Morecambe did their best to try and force him out of the game with a sometimes over-physical approach.

The promising start was gaining momentum, but after a goal mouth scramble which saw Danny Leigh clear off the line, Latics conceded a penalty when Joey Johnson went in rashly on Dunleavy inside the area on the left.

Woods stepped up for Morecambe, but was met by a superb save from Marosi, only for the Morecambe forward to react quicker than any Latics defender to follow the ball in for 1-0.

Latics' quality was showing despite a hard surface, with Ryan Meadows also impressing striding out of midfield to try and force the issue onto Morecambe.

The introduction of Jordan Flores on 35 minutes was a like-for-like in terms of attacking threat as he replaced Joey Johnson, with the Wigan-born winger giving the Morecambe defence a constant headache with his close control.

After half time Latics really upped their game, cracking the right post just one minute into the second half when Chow thumped a low effort from Flores' clever pass inside the right of the area.

Five minutes later and Jennings came close to an equaliser when he met Leigh's teasing cross from the right, but his left footed effort from a tight angle was cleared behind.

Attack-after-attack was the theme for Latics in the second half, as was the harsh treatment of Jennings, who was tumbled into the advertising boards on the near touchline with no consequence.

Moments later he got back up and inadvertently teed up Luke Ainscough to be the second Latics player to hit the right post, with Jennings' attempted overhead kick dropping down to last week's winning goal scorer.

Morecambe goalkeeper Tom Stewart was next to deny Latics, tipping away a first time shot by Jennings after clever work by Flores and a cut back from the right by-line.

Eventually with just over 10 minutes remaining, Latics grabbed a deserved equaliser when captain Tim Chow forced his way through the middle to latch onto a slide tackle by Jennings, finishing the ball into the bottom left corner.

Chow's second half performance grew and grew, with the goal capping it off well.

Two minutes later he could have had a second goal when Jennings looped the ball into the danger zone, but Chow's header didn't have the power to beat Stewart in his top left corner.

Stewart was in the thick of it again not long after when Flores rose well to head from 10 yards out, another fine save from the Morecambe stopper though as he tipped the ball away to his right.

As Latics ferociously fought to break through the Morecambe defence and claim a deserved winner, Guillermo Andres seemingly stopped time when he confidently and calmly curled a right footed effort from 20 yards, but once again the right post stood in his way.

There could only be one winner it seemed as the onslaught continued into stoppage time, but the most unlikely of outcomes occurred when Morecambe countered in the 93rd minute.

Dunleavy had the legs to keep going down the right wing, advancing into the area and lashing into the bottom left corner, a cruel ending for Latics.

Peter Atherton's side end the season top of the Final Third Development League on 28 points from 14 games, and they'll go again on Thursday afternoon when they host Bolton Wanderers in the Lancashire FA Cup semi-final at Robin Park Arena.

Morecambe: Stewart, McGowan, Smith, Bowman, Doyle, Bailey, Dunleavy, Colebourn, Woods, McCready (Newby 12), Bondswell
Unused subs: Povey, Dowling

Latics: Marosi, Leigh, Lambert, Balogun, Wilson, Meadows, Jennings, Ainscough, Andres, Chow, Johnson (Flores 35)
Unused subs: Phillips, Cosgrove, Purzycki, Hamilton

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