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U18 REPORT: WIGAN ATHLETIC 1 BURY 1

26 April 2016

Lang on target as it stays tight at the top of the Youth Alliance.

  • Latics and Bury share the points in Youth Alliance title clash.
  • Callum Lang heads in equaliser after Styles strike had Shakers in front.
  • Latics one point behind Bury, with a game in hand and two matches left.

WIGAN ATHLETIC 1
Lang 77

BURY 1
Styles 69

It remains a fascinating finale to the Youth Alliance this season after the division's top two sides played out a battling 1-1 draw at Robin Park Arena, Latics having Callum Lang to thank when he headed in a 77th minute equaliser to cancel out Callum Styles' opener.

Near misses were frequent throughout the second half after a tense and tight opening 45 minutes, with Latics coming within a whisker of snatching all three points when Lang, again, struck just wide of the left post.

A point each means it's as you were at the top of the table, Latics one point behind the Shakers with a game in hand and two fixtures remaining away to Walsall and Rochdale.

It was frantic in the opening stages, with Latics struggling to gain control as Bury forced their way into the final third, but with no avail as the Shakers sent a number of crosses whistling through the area.

Latics produced the first clear cut opportunity when a combination between Lang and James Barrigan down the left side produced a teasing cross for Chris Sang at the back post, but as the forward stretched to reach the delivery he could only turn the ball over the cross bar.

Bury hit back moments later when Rob Bourne flashed a long range drive narrowly past the left post, in one of few moments of quality during the first half.

Latics were working hard though, combining the front three to put pressure on Bury's defence and goalkeeper John Ruddy and it almost paid off when Sang blocked a clearance, but was unfortunate not to bring possession of the ball under control for a shot.

Another scrappy period followed after the break, but Lang created the first flash point again, riding what looked like a foul by Khalid Mohamed in the penalty area, before crossing low through the area but to no avail.

Ten minutes later midfielder Josh Gregory gave Ruddy his biggest test of the game when he struck Sang's cut back from distance towards the left corner, only for the keeper to tip the shot behind.

Lang was in again moments later when he wriggled down the right side and lashed a shot over Ruddy and his cross bar, with Latics firmly cranking up the pressure, but Bury had other ideas.

The Shakers pushed straight up the other end, with Styles given too much space in midfield, allowing him to strike a superb left footed shot into the bottom right corner to give his side the lead.

Latics reacted immediately, Shane Donaghey firing low through a crowd at Ruddy, before Luke Burgess' left footed effort was sent narrowly over the too left corner.

Then came Latics' big moment.  A free kick on the right beautifully delivered by Alex Lingard onto the head of the leaping Lang and into the top corner to equalise.

Latics had their tails up, but Bury still managed to flash another cross inches past the post, before almost turning into their own net when Lingard's low cross was deflected behind for a corner.

Pushing and pushing to the very end, substitute Nathan Randell began to cause concern for the Bury back line, but it was Lang who created the best opportunity to clinch the three points.

Again the forward was fed down the right side, and again he struck across the keeper to aim for the bottom left, missing by a whisker as Latics had to settle for a single point.

The title race continues...

Latics: Evans, Plant, Lingard, Donaghey (Trialist 73), Baxendale, Stubbs, Burgess, Gregory, Sang (Randell 85), Lang, Barrigan
Unused Subs: Roberts, Taylor, White


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