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20 November 2018

James Berry (2) and Mackenzie O’Neil both on target as Latics' Under-17s defeat Burnley 3-2 in the Clarets Cup.

Wigan Athletic under-17’s beat hosts, Burnley, 3-2 on Tuesday afternoon, courtesy of a brace from James Berry at Barnfield training centre in the Clarets Cup.

The competition includes 5-6 teams, allowing a selected three players from each team’s under-18’s to feature in the squad.

Berry, who completed his first full 90 minutes since his comeback from a knee injury suffered in pre-season, was one of those involved and he opened the scoring when his clever free-kick got the better of the Burnley goalkeeper.

On an afternoon of blustery conditions, Latics were put to the test as Burnley levelled the scoring on the stroke of half-time.

Though, the visitors didn’t deter and restored their lead, this time through midfielder, Mackenzie O’Neil with a well taken goal, drifting in from the left-hand side to slot his shot past the goalkeeper.

But the lead was to last a matter of seconds as the hosts replied instantaneously to frustrate Latics, but, with eight minutes remaining, James Berry added his second of the game to clinch the victory for the Latics.  

Academy manager, Gregor Rioch, said he was pleased with the approach from the players on a tough afternoon:

“I thought the under-16’s did excellent today, it was a good game in challenging conditions at a wonderful training complex at Burnley, but I was delighted with the approach of the players”, he said.

“They’re all working hard to be part of a full-time programme at the club and the victory today is testament to their hard work and resilience.

Rioch also praised the impact of under-18 forward, James Berry, who now has three goals in his last two games:

“I’m pleased for James (Berry), he played his first full 90 minutes since his setback in pre-season and we’re happy with the progression he is making.”

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