Lang desire earns Latics a place in the third round.
- Latics win 1-0 away at Lincoln in the FA Youth Cup.
- Callum Lang 60-yard chase on keeper results in goal.
- Stevenage await at Robin Park Arena in the third round.
LINCOLN CITY 0
WIGAN ATHLETIC 1
Cup magic took over the Wigan Athletic Under 18s on the weekend, as Will Ryder and Gregor Rioch led Latics to a 1-0 victory in the FA Youth Cup second round away to Lincoln City at Sincil Bank, courtesy of a bizarre winning goal from Callum Lang.
Treated to the full first team experience, including an early morning pre-match meal and a journey down to Lincolnshire on the first team coach, Latics delivered on a day of excitement to book a place in the third round against Stevenage at Robin Park Arena.
Lang's winner came as a result of his hunger and desire to close down Lincoln goalkeeper Richard Walton, with the forward making a run from inside his own half to close down the stopper, whose clearance hit him on side and deflected back into the goal.
Latics came up against a tough Lincoln side, who were difficult to break down throughout. The organised defensive unit limited chances, with Latics having to remain focused despite dominating for large periods in possession.
Lincoln occasionally threatened on the counter attack, with Latics forced into a couple of last ditch challenges in a tight game, but they got their reward for hard work 71 minutes in, despite a bizarre turn of events.
Lang was positioned 15 yards inside his own half when he spotted a clearance from deep. The ball made it all the way through to Walton, whose first touch took him outside of his own 18-yard box. Lang's commitment to continue his run saw him accelerate inside Lincoln's half, closing the keeper down as he attempted to clear, with the ball striking the forward on his side, and rebounding almost 25 yards into the net for 1-0. A perfect example of making your own luck.
The hard work continued into the final stages of the game, with Josh Beaumont introduced for Luke Burgess to add an extra body in defence as Lincoln attempted to step up their efforts, only to be met by Latics' solid back line.
With victory sealed, Latics can now look forward to a home tie at the DW Stadium against Stevenage, who eliminated Cambridge United on penalties in the second round.
Speaking after the game, Gregor Rioch expressed his delight at the work rate put in by his players:
"There was a real sense of excitement building up to the game, we were well looked after from being at our training ground in the morning, to the whole afternoon at Lincoln's ground.
"The lads controlled their nerves with professionalism and we went on to dominate the game in possession. We've got to credit Lincoln, they were compact and organised and made tough for us, which is probably why a goal like Langy's ended up being the winner.
"He's shown the commitment to chase down the keeper over and incredible distance, it's a great example of how far hard work can get you.
"Overall we were pleased to have won the game inside the 90 minutes, and now the lads can look forward to a home game and a great occasion in the third round at the DW Stadium."
Latics: Absalom, Lingard, Baxendale, Burke, Stubbs, Gregory, Burgess (Beaumont 87), Rimmer, Merrie, Lang, Sang
Unused subs: Roberts, Taylor, Fitton, Randell