Christopher Sang’s second-half strike sets up fifth round tie with Manchester City as Latics achieve their furthest-ever FA Youth Cup run.
- Wigan Athletic’s under-18s defeat Derby County 1-0 in the FA Youth Cup Fourth Round.
- Sang’s deflected effort the difference at the DW Stadium.
- Win sets up a fifth round home tie with Manchester City.
Christopher Sang was the match-winner, his strike midway through the second-half deflected in and gave Will Ryder’s side a much-deserved success as manager Gary Caldwell and chairman David Sharpe watched on.
Latics were comfortably in control of possession in the early exchanges, distributing the ball wide with good link up between Sang and his supporting midfield teammates and full-backs.
The first chance, however, fell to the Rams and Elsnik Jakobsen should have done better from close range when he was picked out by left back Calum MacDonald.
Alex Babos then went close for the visitors on two occasions before the ten minute mark, seeing his shot from the edge of the penalty area diverted over by Latics defender Sam Stubbs before his near post header from went comfortably wide from a Timi Elsnik corner.
On 20 minutes, Latics found themselves ruing their luck as a fine strike from Callum Lang, after good work from James Barrigan on the left saw the ball crossed out to the far left, was cleared off the line by Ethan Wassall with Josh Barnes in the Derby goal beaten.
Moments later, the Rams diverted the ball behind for a first Latics corner as a Matty Rimmer effort looped perilously close to Barnes’ top right-hand corner off Alex Cover.
A moment of controversy became the talking point of the first-half as the half hour passed, with Sang booked for simulation after he fell to the ground after rounding Barnes, Joe Bateman was also booked for the Rams, the referee going back to book the midfielder following his dangerous tackle in the build up to Sang’s chance.
As half-time approached, Latics continued to be aggressive in their approach in midfield, with Barrigan battling down the left side after winning possession before forcing a near post save from Barnes.
In first-half stoppage time, another golden opportunity presented itself for the hosts as Alex Lingard worked his way into the area in superb fashion before crossing for Barrigan who was somehow denied by a last-ditch challenge from Cover, two yards from goal.
A quiet opening to the second-half saw little in the form of notable events, though the hour mark passed with a deflected Lang strike from 25 yards forcing Barnes to scramble to his left before the ball passed the outside of his left-hand post.
It took just another 60 seconds for Latics to break the deadlock, though, as Sang picked up possession on the edge of the area before shooting and seeing his shot deflect off MacDonald into the bottom left-hand corner of Barnes’ goal.
As expected, the Rams responded with more intensity in their attacks, firstly substitute Tom Mellors crossed for James Carvell and the visitors’ forward should have done better with his header at the back post from no more than eight yards.
After a Lang header went over from a Latics corner, Derby were threatening again, Mellors forcing a save from Kelland Absalom.
The outstanding Lang nearly sealed the tie for Latics 12 minutes from time as he drove powerfully from midfield and beat Barnes only for his shot to clip the outside of the post and go wide.
The closing stages were tense, Latics went close on a number of occasions and could have sealed the tie in multiple breakaways whilst the visitors launched balls into the penalty area only to be denied by a resolute effort from Ryder’s side.
The final whistle was greeted with jubilance from the support inside the DW Stadium whilst the players were relieved their effort was rewarded with progression to the fifth round and a home tie with Manchester City.
Latics: Absalom, Baxendale, Lingard, Gregory, Burke, Stubbs, Rimmer (Beaumont 90), Lang, Sang, Barrigan, Merrie.
Subs not used: Roberts, Taylor, Burgess, Randell.
Derby County: Barnes, Stabana, MacDonald, Bird, Wassall, Cover, Elsnik, Bateman (Edwards 72), Jakobsen (Mellors 64 (Davidson-Miller 80)), Babos, Carvell.