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U18 REPORT: WIGAN ATHLETIC 2 BLACKPOOL 1

22 February 2016

Latics clinch comeback victory to go four clear at the top.

  • Latics come from 1-0 down to win 2-1 against Blackpool.
  • Lang and Randell on target in the second half at Robin Park.
  • Under 18s top of the Youth Alliance, four points ahead of Bury in second.

WIGAN ATHLETIC 2
Lang 67
Randell 77

BLACKPOOL 1
Wilson 64 (pen)

After three straight defeats in all competitions, Latics earned three deserved points to put them back on track in the Football League Youth Alliance, with goals from Callum Lang and Nathan Randell bringing them from behind to win 2-1 against Blackpool at Robin Park Arena on Saturday.

The visitors took the lead through a Macauley Wilson penalty just after the hour mark, with Lang's headed equaliser coming shortly after, before Randell finished off a fine counter attack to send Latics four points ahead of second place Bury who didn't have a fixture this weekend.

Overcoming a recent run of defeats was paramount for Will Ryder's youngsters, and they did so with steely determination despite the set back after Alieu Njie had judged to have been fouled by James Barrigan in Latics' penalty area.

Blackpool came close on a couple of occasions as the first half began, with Wilson denied an opener inside 14 minutes when his goal was disallowed for offside.

Njie followed up with a brace of good chances, but Kelland Absalom was in inspired form to deny him in the 37th minute with a superb save.

The Blackpool forward was at the centre of the action when his side took the lead, with Njie seemingly nudged down in the area by Barrigan.  Wilson stepped up confidently to finish from the spot.

Latics' 'never say die' attitude has always been present this season, and none more so than in the final 25 minutes or so of the contest.

Alex Lingard's wicked delivery from a free kick down the right side was enough to give Lang inspiration, with the forward beating his marker to power home a header inside the six yard box, equalising just three minutes after Wilson's spot kick.

Latics grabbed the three points with 13 minutes remaining, with a flowing team goal from Absalom to the goal scorer Randell.

The Welsh youth international goalkeeper rolled the ball wide left for Lingard who found Rimmer with a precise pass into midfield.  Rimmer dodged two challenges in the centre, drifting to the right to find Randell entering the box, and with a cool head the forward slotted his effort into the bottom left corner for 2-1.

Victory for Latics has them first in the Youth Alliance on 37 points from 17 matches, with Bury second on 33 points from 16 games, Walsall third on 33 points from 18 games, and Tranmere Rovers fourth on 30 points from 17 games, leaving the title race a close-fought contest with 11 fixtures left for Ryder's side.

Latics: Absalom, Plant, Lingard, Beaumont, Burke, Stubbs, Lang, Burgess (Randell 46), Sang, Barrigan, Powell (Rimmer 75)
Unused subs: Forecast, White, Taylor


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