Latics beaten narrowly in the FA Youth Cup at Leicester.
- Latics edged out 1-0 at the King Power Stadium.
- Harrison own goal cruel in battling performance.
- Cosgrove close to 95th minute equaliser.
LEICESTER CITY 1
Harrison o.g. 38
WIGAN ATHLETIC 0
Latics were dealt a cruel FA Youth Cup third round blow as they were narrowly beaten 1-0 by Leicester City at the King Power Stadium, an unfortunate 38th minute own goal from Sean Harrison proving crucial in a battling performance against a side who sit second in the Under 18 Premier League.
It was an even contest throughout, but Latics will feel hard done by not to have pegged a goal back after a forceful start to the second half, especially when Sam Cosgrove's thunderous free kick was spilled wide in the fifth minute of stoppage time.
Latics started brightly and inside the fourth minute top goal scorer Louis Robles almost found the net when he glanced Josh Gregory's near post delivery just wide of the left post.
Leicester made it a physical battle in midfield, with Hamza Choudhury penalised a number of times for fouls on Latics' midfielder Adrian Purzycki. It became testing for the midfield.
On 26 minutes Latics mustered the second clear chance of the game when Cosgrove struck a free kick over the wall, forcing Max Smith-Varnham to push the ball behind for a corner.
Barely a minute had gone by when it was Owen Evans being tested at the other end, pulling off a superb save from King who scampered free down the middle. Evans remained upright until the very last second, before making himself big an denying the striker. Luke Burke was then on hand to make a last ditch challenge on Kyle Bailey to prevent a goal on the follow up.
Ten minutes later and Latics found themselves behind in a truly unfortunate circumstance when Cedric Kipre high cross from the right was headed backwards by Harrison, catching out Evans and looping into the right corner to give Leicester the lead.
An immediate response was close when Alex Lingard's low cross towards the front post from the left was cleared away from Cosgrove who had all but a tap in had it not been for a last ditch clearance.
Latics made a powerful start to the second half and were well on top, Luke Burke carving out an early chance with a cross from the right cleared at the near post, denying Robles a headed attempt on goal.
Credit has to be given to Latics as a defensive unit, remaining strong throughout the 90 minutes and for the majority of the second half they remained untroubled.
On 55 minutes Arnie Baxendale forced Smith-Varnham to tip the ball away from the top right corner, when his cross from the right drifted deep, just inches from an equaliser.
Robles then tested Smith-Varnham after a neat one-two with Purzycki, but the striker's shot was well held.
Latics made three changes during the second half, bringing on Adam Anson, Chris Merrie and James Barrigan who was returning from injury.
The home side began to run the clock down quite early into the final 10 minutes, with the last chance of the game coming in the fifth minute of injury time, a powerful Cosgrove free kick which forced Smith-Varnham to spill the effort wide of the post. There was time for the corner to be taken, but as Leicester cleared their lines, referee David Avent blew for full time.
Leicester: Smith-Varnham, Johnson, Chilwell, Choudhury, Moore, Kipre, Bailey (Ndukwu 77), Miles, King, Rowe, Fox
Subs: Knight, Bramley, Barnes, Dusabe
Latics: Evans, Burke, Lambert (Barrigan 72), Gregory, Harrison, McNally (Anson 84), Baxendale, Puzycki (Merrie 77), Cosgrove, Robles, Lingard
Subs: Absalom, Sang