Cruel penatly defeat for Latics in Youth Alliance Cup.
- Latics knocked out of Youth Alliance Cup after 1-1 draw with Shrewsbury.
- Hosts Shrewsbury won 4-1 on penalties.
- Chris Merrie on target, with Latics unfortunate not to win in 90 minutes.
SHREWSBURY TOWN 1
WIGAN ATHLETIC 1
Shrewsbury won 4-1 on penalties
Latics were unfortunate to be eliminated from the Football League Youth Alliance Cup on Saturday afternoon, following a 4-1 defeat on penalties at Shrewsbury Town, the result of a 1-1 draw over 90 minutes.
Chris Merrie gave Latics an early lead in the Northern Semi-Final, and despite a number of chances to extend the advantage, Will Ryder's side were pegged back by a Jordan Wilson goal in the 56th minute, with the game eventually going to a penalty shoot out.
The hosts progressed with a win on penalties, with Latics now turning their attentions straight to the FA Youth Cup fourth round clash with Derby County at the DW Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Latics, who are flying high in the Youth Alliance, came into the game off the back of a 3-0 victory over Carlisle United, and their momentum showed in the opening stages against Shrewsbury, with Merrie on the score sheet just eight minutes after the whistle.
The midfielder was on target for the third time this season when Alex Lingard's cross was flicked on by Luke Burgess and into Merrie path for a simple header.
Latics could have extended their lead, but for the trialist in Shrewsbury's goal. First he denied Josh Gregory from distance in the 10th minute with a punch around the post, before Merrie's volley was turned away a minute later.
Chris Sang picked up on a poor back pass in the 16th minute to feed James Barrigan, but again Latics were left frustrated as the keeper saved with his legs.
Merrie then pulled a shot wide from Arnie Baxendale's cross, before he was denied by a goal line clearance from Joel Bonner just before the half hour mark.
Shrewsbury's first threat came 35 minutes in, Owen Evans pulling off a superb save to tip Wilson's effort wide of the right post.
Latics finished the half with yet another chance, this time Gregory firing over from Lingard's delivery.
The second half started quickly for the hosts who were determined to withstand Latics' first half pressure, and they almost took the lead eight minutes in when Ryan Sears headed Chris Gallagher's corner into the side netting.
Three minutes later and Shrewsbury grabbed their equaliser, Ethan Jones crossing low through the box for Wilson to turn in at close range.
Latics came close to restoring their advantage shortly after the hour mark, when half time substitute Josh Beaumont turned the ball wide from Burgess' cross.
The game was halted with around quarter of an hour left, after a heavy collision left Luke Burke on the ground. The defender received treatment from both physios, before being replaced by Matty Rimmer.
With just 10 minutes left before the lottery of penalties, Shrewsbury went close through Tom King and John McAtee, but it was Latics who went inches away from progressing in added time, with what would have been a worthy winning strike.
Sang's long range effort was denied in the fifth minute of second half stoppage time by Shrewsbury's trialist goalkeeper, who would go on to save Latics' first penalty in the resulting 4-1 shootout defeat.
Latics will now turn their attention to the FA Youth Cup on Tuesday night, with Derby County the visitors to the DW Stadium for a 7.00pm kick off, in the second of Latics' cup double-header.
Shrewsbury: Trialist, Sears, Roberts, Hughes, Bonner, Gallagher, Butts (Capt) (Carta 46), McAtee, Wilson, Jones, King
Unused subs: Rammell, Barnett, Hassall, Higgs
Latics: Evans, Baxendale, Lingard, Gregory (Beaumont 46), Burke (Capt) (Rimmer 80), Stubbs, Burgess (Randell 90), Lang, Sang, Barrigan, Merrie
Unused subs: Absalom, Taylor