Latics taste opening day defeat in EFL Youth Alliance.
- Latics beaten 3-1 at home by Walsall on opening day of season.
- Tom Powell opens season account despite loss.
- Chris Sang unfortunate with second half penalty miss.
WIGAN ATHLETIC 1
Latics were dealt an opening day defeat in the EFL Youth Alliance on Saturday, as Nick Chadwick's side fell to a 3-1 home loss against Walsall in the first game of their title defence, having won the division in 2015/16.
Despite their best efforts in the second half and substitute Tom Powell opening his and Latics' scoring account for the season, Tobias Hayles-Doherty and Derbert Mussamba's goals for the visitors had the Saddlers kept the Saddlers 2-1 ahead, before Dan O'Sullivan added a late third to confirm the result.
Chris Sang was unfortunate not begin Latics' resurgence earlier in the second half when he saw his penalty saved, with Latics now set to face their first away trip of the season when they travel to Port Vale on Saturday 13 August.
In an even opening period Latics looked well worthy of the tight scoreline, but were dealt a blow just before the half an hour mark when Hayles-Doherty opened the scoring for the visitors.
Latics were very much competing, but saw their deficit doubled shortly after the break thanks to Mussamba, before Sang's missed penalty looked likely to be rued, until substitute Powell pulled Chadwick's side back into the contest.
Despite Latics' best efforts to equalise, O'Sullivan dealt the final blow six minutes from time to give the young Saddlers a 3-1 win.
Latics: Roberts, Plant, White (Golden 85), Forecast, Stubbs (Malumo 57), Taylor, Fawns (Trialist), Fitton (McGuffie (Trialist 65), Sang, Randell, Lang (Powell 46)
Unused sub: Perrin