Latics’ Under 18s slip to their first defeat of the season at Preston.
- Robles scores twice before half time.
- Latics beaten for the first time in three games.
- Two consecutive clean sheets before Preston.
PRESTON NORTH END 4
WIGAN ATHLETIC 2
The Under 18s faced their first defeat of the 2014/15 Youth Alliance campaign this Saturday, losing 4-2 away at local rivals Preston North End, after a Louis Robles double had seen Peter Atherton’s side 2-1 up going into the break at Chorley FC’s Victory Park.
Latics deservedly came from behind after an early set back, but the hosts switched to a direct style in the second half, which saw them score three goals to claim the win.
Preston made a quick start to proceedings, scoring inside the first 15 minutes when Luke Pritchard found Jonathan Lunney to lift the ball over Connor Keane, but Robles soon had Latics level when his fellow forward Callum Lang nudged the ball past an on-rushing defender who stuck out a leg.
Robles stepped up to convert the spot kick with calm precision, as Latics began to gain momentum.
Just before the break the 17-year-old doubled his tally, when he met a pull back down the left hand side, slotting the ball into the bottom left corner.
Preston’s switch in style made it difficult for Latics after half time, and James Boyd had soon equalised when bundled in from close range following a failed clearance.
Latics could have arguably been in front again though, and it would have given Robles a chance at a hat trick when he was tripped in the area, but saw his penalty claims waved away.
The forward did well to beat his man one-on-one down the right by-line, but the referee judged there to be no trip.
Soon after, Preston edged themselves in front through Eddie Dsane as he finished smartly from an un-cleared corner.
North End put daylight between themselves and Latics late on, when a 40-yard free kick somehow missed everybody to find its way into the back of the net.
Following the game coach Peter Atherton said the result will be a good lesson for his players:
“The lads deserved to come back from 1-0 down in the first half and the hard work paid off, but Preston changed to a direct style and we struggled to cope with it.
“It’s disappointing to lose and to concede four goals, especially after keeping two clean sheets in our previous games, it was a close game though and maybe a bit of a flattering score line.
“We will learn a lot from the way the game went, but there are some big positives to take out of it; the two goals from Louis (Robles) and another very good midfield display from Josh Gregory.”
Latics: Keane, Burke (Baxendale 82), McNally, Harrison, Balogun, Gregory, Cvetkovic, Lang (Sang 60), Barrigan (Merrie 72), Robles