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26 February 2018

Development squad register first win of the league campaign with victory against North Lancs & District Development Centre.

  • Match Report: North Lancs 2-5 Wigan Athletic Ladies Development Squad.
  • Faye Byrne (x3) and Ellie Cleary (x2) were on target for Latics.
  • Danny Mather - "We dug deep against a really strong side."

Faye Byrne’s 11-minute hattrick inspired Latics to a first league win of the season as they beat North Lancs & District Development Centre on Sunday.

Danny Mather’s side, fresh from qualifying for the County Cup final last week, once again showed real grit to come from behind to win, especially as the side were missing key experienced players, including regular captain Alex Cullen.

Latics were straight out of the blocks, a great move with just three minutes on the clock saw Flossie Jones start a sharp move in midfield, threading the ball to Charlotte Evans who sent Ellie Cleary clear for a neat finish past Lucy Askew. 

The hosts came back well, however, with the dangerous Kayleigh Young seeing a shot hit the side netting before she was on hand to equalise on the half hour mark as she turned the ball in from a tight angle.

North Lancs were the better side at this stage and went ahead before the break as Emma Bootham cleverly deflected the ball into the back of the net with a point-blank header from a corner.

Latics responded well and Byrne curled a beautiful free kick past Cullen on 59 minutes after Cleary was fouled on the edge of the area before she repeated the feat eight minutes later with a similar effort.

Byrne wasn’t finished there, though, and she reacted the quickest to turn in the lively Georgia Atherton’s low corner at the near post three minutes later.

Atherton almost found an opening while Jones hit a curling effort a foot wide from the edge of the box, but with nine minutes left Cleary put the game beyond doubt as she wriggled clear of her markers to slot home.

After the game, Mather said: "This is such an exciting young group with a really tight team spirit and they dug deep against a strong side who were causing us problems. Myself and the coaching staff are so pleased for them.”

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