Latics narrowly defeated, despite spirited comeback attempt.
- Latics beaten 3-2 by Preston in the Youth Alliance on Saturday.
- Preston 3-0 up with two minutes to play, spirited comeback just out of Latics' reach.
- Bury now six points behind league leaders Latics, with two games in hand.
PRESTON NORTH END 3
Boyd 49, 52, 75
WIGAN ATHLETIC 2
Wilson (Trialist) 89
Own Goal 90+1
Will Ryder's side were spirited in their response to falling 3-0 behind in the second half, but late goals from trialist Jordan Wilson and an own goal forced by fellow trialist Shane Donaghey weren't enough to pull back a point, leaving chasers Bury six points behind Latics with two games in hand.
Preston's James Boyd caused the damage after a goalless first half, claiming a hat-trick in a 26-minute spell, starting with a devastating run between the defence to latch onto a well-weighted through-ball, before finishing into the bottom right corner.
Boyd added his second three minutes later when he controlled a cross from the left, moving the ball in behind the defence with his first touch, and volleying left footed into the bottom right.
North End had their third 15 minutes from time, with Boyd completing his treble thanks to a foul by Donaghey in the box giving Preston a penalty.
Boyd stepped up and converted into the bottom right for 3-0.
Latics weren't out just yet though, and after pressing and pressing they pulled a goal back with just a minute of normal time to play. Luke Burke gathered the ball in midfield before finding James Barrigan in Preston's half, with Latics' leading goal scorer slotting a perfect pass for Wilson to run onto for a calm finish across the keeper from the left side.
Two minutes later and things became even more interesting, when Donaghey's free kick from the right side was turned in by a Preston defender under pressure from trialist defender Josh Williams.
Alas, Latics couldn't quite make up the ground the claim a point, but their chase for the title remains well and truly on, holding a six point advantage at the top of the Youth Alliance with just six games remaining.
Latics: Absalom, Plant, Lingard (Taylor 80), Donaghey (Trialist), Williams (Trialist), Stubbs (Forecast 66), Burke, Lang, Sang, Barrigan, Burgess (Wilson (Trialist 52)
Unused subs: Roberts, White