Latics defeat Rochdale 2-0 and extend their lead at the top of the EFL Youth Alliance following a stunning free-kick from Luke Robinson and strike from Kyle Joseph.
- EFL Youth Alliance U18 Report: Rochdale 0 – 2 Wigan Athletic
- Latics win 2-0 thanks to superb Luke Robinson free-kick and strike from Kyle Joseph
- Latics strengthen grip on top spot in the EFL Youth Alliance
ROCHDALE U18 0
WIGAN ATHLETIC U18 2
Wigan Athletic Under-18s made it two wins in the space of a week following their 2-0 away victory over Rochdale on Saturday afternoon.
Luke Robinson’s stunning free-kick opened the scoring, before Kyle Joseph’s second secured the victory against a resilient Dale.
England youth international Jensen Weir returned to the bench for Latics, though, forward, Joe Gelhardt was not in the squad whilst right-back Ollie Broe also suffered a setback in training this week and was therefore unavailable for selection.
Divin Baningime, Will McGuffie and Emeka Obi all returned to the side following their involvement in the Development Squad’s draw with Burnley this week.
After a cagey opening 15 minutes, Latics came the closest with an early chance. Joseph, who grabbed a hat-trick in the week against Morecambe, was pulled down outside the area, though McGuffie’s free-kick deflected just wide of the post.
The visitors threatened again minutes later, though Mitchell Culshaw couldn’t add to his goal in the week after his low volley was gathered by the Rochdale goalkeeper.
After signing a professional contract earlier this month, Obi had the chance to score his first goal for the club. The ball fell to the defender kindly in the box, though his goal-bound effort was blocked from six yards out.
Rochdale had their first meaningful attempt five minutes before half-time as a low strike went just wide of Bobby Jones’ goal.
It took something special to break the deadlock and Luke Robinson did exactly that, Baningime did well to win the free-kick and the left-back stepped up to curl the ball exquisitely past the goalkeeper.
Dale had the chance to equalise soon later, though Latics didn’t deter under a period of pressure as the flicked effort failed to trouble Jones.
Joseph had the chance to add to his tally for the campaign, but his effort was palmed away after he cut inside to beat his man.
The visitors did deservedly doubled their advantage with ten minutes to go, though, as Jones’ searching kick brilliant found Culshaw in-behind the defence and the winger did well to square the ball to Joseph, who tapped home at the back-post to grab his fourth this week.
Latics: Jones, H.Jolley, Obi, Long, Robinson, Smith (Capt) (Weir 88), McGuffie, Culshaw (O’Neil 88), C.Jolley (Berry 90) , Baningime, Joseph.