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Club News


14 March 2016

Latics maintain lead at the top of the Youth Alliance.

  • Latics held to 0-0 draw away at Shrewsbury Town.
  • Under 18s remain four points clear at the top of the Youth Alliance.
  • Goalless draw helps to collect 16th clean sheet in 30 games in all competitions.



Latics' Under 18s maintained their four point advantage at the top of the Football League Youth Alliance with a 0-0 draw away at Shrewsbury Town on Saturday, remaining a strong defensive unit to collect their 16th clean sheet in all competitions this season.

In a tactical battle at Shrewsbury Sports Village, Latics couldn't find a route through the host's defence, a side Will Ryder's team have now drawn with on three separate occasions this campaign.

The game produced very few clear cut chances, with the pick of the bunch all falling in the second half, two for Latics and one for Shrewsbury.

Latics' captain Luke Burke struck his side's two best chances narrowly wide, the first just inside the left edge of the area from a corner, with the second dragged wide from the edge of the box.

Shrewsbury mustered their own clear cut opportunity, with Ethan Jones one-on-one with Kelland Absalom, only for the forward to shoot wide at the near post down the right.

Latics matched their opponents man-for-man throughout the contest, with the draw a good result all round as the trailing pack of Walsall, Bury and Tranmere Rovers all drew, leaving Latics top of the league by four points with nine fixtures remaining.

Speaking after the draw, Head of Academy Gregor Rioch summed up his thoughts:

"It was a real test for us, one we knew was coming what with the two draws against Shrewsbury before this match.  We were very organised, as were Shrewsbury, which limited the number of chances at either end, and it became a fascinating tactical game.

"Sam Stubbs and Luke Burke were superb again at the heart of the defence, and it's great for Kelland (Absalom) to keep another clean sheet.

"It's rare for our front three not to score, but I'm sure they'll get back into the swing of it very soon.

"We're four points clear at the top now, and after missing out on winning the league last season, the players are capable of dealing with the pressure in this final stretch of the season."

Latics: Absalom, Plant (White 88), Lingard, Stubbs, Burke, Beaumont, Rimmer (Randell 70), Baxendale, Sang, Barrigan, Lang
Unused subs: Roberts, Forecast, Taylor

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