Gelhardt on target twice as Latics maintain their lead at the top of the EFL Youth Alliance.
- Under 18 match report: Wigan Athletic 4 Shrewsbury Town 1.
- Joe Gelhardt (2), Will McGuffie and Charlie Jolley on target.
- Latics collect their 17th victory of the season in the EFL Youth Alliance.
WIGAN ATHLETIC 4
Gelhardt 24, 27
Latics continue to push Rochdale all the way at the top of the EFL Youth Alliance, with a thumping 4-1 victory over Shrewsbury Town helping to maintain Latics' lead at the summit, despite Dale's games in hand.
England youth international Joe Gelhardt, celebrating signing his apprenticeship with the club, grabbed a double in the first half alongside a stunning Will McGuffie free kick, before Charlie Jolley killed the game off with a neat finish in the second half. The visitors grabbed a goal late on, but it proved to be nothing more than a consolation.
Latics broke the deadlock after 24 minutes through Gelhardt, when the forward drove through on goal and hammered the ball into the top left corner.
Three minutes later Gelhardt scored his second, from the edge of the area, picking his spot with time to shoot, only for a wicked deflection to deceive Shrewsbury keeper Cameron Gregory for 2-0.
A Latics third followed within five minutes, as McGuffie picked out the top corner with a thunderous free kick, giving Gregory no chance.
The visitors to Christopher Park came out strong in the second half, but Latics remained firm at the back and extended their lead in the 69th minute, substitute Jolley turning in the rebound after a smart, initial save from Gregory.
Shrewsbury managed to grab a consolation with just over 15 minutes to play when substitute Tyrone Ofori found the bottom left corner, but the game was well beyond Salop, with Latics in full control.
Latics: Perrin, Golden, Plant, McGuffie, B.Roberts, Downey (Capt), Cotter, Maffeo, Baningime, Gelhardt, Malumo
Subs: Jolley, Culshaw, Weir, Joseph, Smith
Shrewsbury: Gregory, Corfield, Davies, Rowland, Agbozo, Ward, Gilpin, Taylor, Mwandwe, Leask, Barnett (Capt)
Subs: Atkinson, Hartley, Huxley, Ofori