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Match Reports


9 April 2019

Two goals from MacKenzie O'Neill and a typically commanding display sees Latics wrap up the EFL Youth Alliance title with four games to play.

  • Academy Report: Wigan Athletic 2 Bury FC 0.
  • Latics win the EFL Youth Alliance with four fixture remaining.
  • MacKenzie O'Neill's double means Latics cannot be caught by Rochdale and are crowned champions.

O'Neill 28, 65


It's been eight months in the making and 22 unbeaten matches, but now it's official, Latics are champions of the EFL Youth Alliance!

MacKenzie O'Neill netted a double with a goal in each half during a typically impressive display by the Under 18 group, with the 2-0 victory pushing Latics 14 points clear of second place Rochdale with just four fixtures remaining.

Latics went into the game with confidence high after their 6-2 win against Blackpool on Saturday and Peter Murphy's young charges were brimming with enthusiasm to secure a much deserved first trophy of the season.

Goal scorer O'Neill went close to opening the scoring earlier into the contest when a similar solo run to his goal was thwarted by the Bury goalkeeper, but there was no stopping the Northern Ireland youth international when he danced between challenges to turn the ball into the right corner for 1-0.

Latics continued to battled in bright, but blustery conditions at Christopher Park, seeing out their narrow lead until half time.

As the wind settled, so did Latics, commanding the second half from the off and constantly putting their opponents on the back foot.

Twenty minutes into the second half, O'Neill was the man once again. An initial effort from captain Scott outside of the area was parried by the Bury keeper, but O'Neill was perfectly placed to turn the follow up in for 2-0.

The introductions of Jensen Weir, Joe Gelhardt, Charlie Jolley, Ollie Broe and Louis Isherwood helped Latics to maintain their high energy levels, whilst Bobby Jones stood strong between the sticks despite a couple of late Bury chances.

As the whistle blew, the remainder of Latics' squad piled onto the Christopher Park pitch to celebrate, much deserved for the Academy as a whole after an outstanding season of work.

With two cup finals still to come against Preston North End (LFA Youth Cup) and Exeter City (EFL Youth Alliance Cup), the hard work isn't over for the Under 18s, but they'll enjoy their celebrations and rightly so.

Latics: Jones, Maffeo, Robinson, Obi, Long, Smith (Capt), Culshaw, McGuffie, Joseph, Berry, O'Neill
Subs: Weir, Gelhardt, Isherwood, Broe, C.Jolley

EFL Youth Alliance League Table Wigan Athletic Champions

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