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10 August 2017

Latics defeat Fleetwood Town 3-1 in Holland as unbeaten pre-season continues.

Latics’ under-18s faced Fleetwood Town on day nine of their trip to Holland on Tuesday, with Nick Chadwick’s side currently sharing a hotel with their Lancashire neighbours.

The game started with a lot of energy from both teams but Latics edged the opening battle with more possession.

However, the first goal fell Fleetwood’s way after a poor clearance from the keeper found its way to a midfielder, who then played the ball in behind for the wingback to latch onto and finish calmly off the underside of the bar.

After this, Latics came under some pressure and continued to dominate chances and possession. The breakthrough came from a surging run from bright youngster Joe McWilliam, who beat two Fleetwood defenders to deliver a low cross giving Divin Baningime the opportunity to score, which he converted at the second attempt levelling the game up to 1-1.

After the goal, Latics created more chances through good combination play from striker and captain, Mwiya Malumo. As Latics’ pressure increased, Fleetwood began to tire and in the second-half Latics’ persistence eventually paid off as Malumo made a strong run at the defence and was fouled however, the referee played advantage to Latics’ delight and the ball fell to Baningime who crossed for attacker James Berry to finish calmly.

Latics started to impose themselves on the game in the last 20 minutes and kept the ball very well and combined well in the final third. With seven minutes remaining, Latics’ effervescent movement was too much for Fleetwood and Mitchell Culshaw found himself on the Fleetwood by-line delivering a cross which defied laws of physics to end up in the back of the net, much to the delight of the coaching staff.

A good win for Latics who are unbeaten on the trip but face arguably their toughest test on Saturday when they play FC Twente’s under-19 side.

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