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DEVELOPMENT REPORT: WIGAN ATHLETIC 2 BRADFORD CITY 2

5 April 2016

Odelusi plays 30 minutes on return from injury as Development Squad are pegged back.

  • Sanmi Odelusi makes comeback from foot ligament injury.
  • Forward plays 30 minutes as Latics draw 2-2 with Bradford City.
  • Barrigan and Cosgrove on target as Marshall and Thomas net for the Bantams.

WIGAN ATHLETIC 2
Barrigan 24
Cosgrove 29

BRADFORD CITY 2
Marshall 38
Thomas 68

Latics were held to a 2-2 draw at home to Bradford City in the Final Third Development League West on Tuesday afternoon, being pegged back from 2-0 ahead after goals from Mark Marshall and Wes Thomas ruled out the first half strikes from James Barrigan and Sam Cosgrove.

Peter Atherton's side included first team forward Sanmi Odelusi who made a 30-minute comeback from a foot ligament injury, while Kevin McNaughton also featured for the first half.  It was a young Latics side in comparison with their Bradford counterparts, who fielded first team experience in the shape of Greg Leigh, Josh Morris, Mark Marshall, Paul Anderson and Wes Thomas to name a few.

Latics made a very bright start to the game, with the energy of their young squad showing through as Danny O'Brien, currently on loan at Chester, was a constant threat with his pace and direct running.  The winger produced the first chance after just six minutes, darting inside to unleash a powerful shot which was only denied by Joe Cracknell's finger tip save.

Cracknell was on form again inside the opening 15 minutes when Barrigan crossed low for Cosgrove, whose first time effort from close range was met by a reaction stop from the Bantams' keeper.

O'Brien then reared his head once more, first firing a free kick wide after a foul on the energetic Odelusi, before turning provider for the game's opening goal on 24 minutes.  The Leigh-born wide man drove inside to beat three defenders, before teeing up Barrigan down the left side of the area, his left footed finish deflecting past Cracknell for 1-0.

It was O'Brien who went close again just before the half an hour mark, once more cutting inside before Cracknell tipped his low shot around the right post.  From the resulting corner the Bantams half cleared, allowing O'Brien to drive at the again before linking up with captain Matty Hamilton who slipped Cosgrove in on goal for a composed finish. 2-0 to Latics!

Odelusi departed the contest on 31 minutes, a scheduled substitution to help aid his recovery, which saw trialist Jordan Wilson introduced.

Bradford had their foot back in the game not longer after when a free kick 25 yards from goal was whipped over the wall and into the top left corner from the right foot of Marshall.

Ahead 2-1 at the break, Latics made their second change during the interval when Callum Lang was introduced for McNaughton, before what proved to be a tough opening to the second 45.

First, Bantams' scorer Marshall fizzed a low shot across Owen Evans and just wide of the right post, before the winger was denied moments later by a strong save from the Welsh youth international.

Bradford had their equaliser in the 68th minute when a brief lapse at the back saw a free kick delivered from the left, allowing Thomas to position himself at the left post to nod home a cut back from deep on the right side of the area.

Evans was then on top form again to deny the visitors the lead, keeping strong wrists to push Josh Morris' powerful effort from a tight angle down the left side around the post.

Matty Rimmer and Luke Burgess were introduced before full time, with both sides going close to taking all three points late on.

Cosgrove's pressure on the Bradford back line forced a pass back to Cracknell that the keeper sliced and almost turned into his own goal.  From the corner the ball dropped for Cosgrove, but he couldn't adjust his feet to release a shot from close range.

In the dying moments Marshall's trickery down the left almost forced a winner for the experience Bradford side, but he was once again met by a superb stop from Evans to secure a point for Latics.

Latics: Evans, McNaughton (Lang 45 (Rimmer 81), Lingard, Baxendale, Stubbs, Anson, O'Brien, Hamilton, Cosgrove, Odelusi (Wilson 31), Barrigan (Burgess 71)
Unused sub: Absalom



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