Charlie Jolley rescues a point for spirited Latics after a six-goal thriller away at Grimsby Town.
- Academy News: Development Squad earn last-minute draw thanks to Charlie Jolley penalty.
- Luke Burgess had given Latics the lead before Grimsby scored twice in as many minutes.
- Joe Gelhardt pulled Latics level with five minutes remaining, before an own goal and then Jolley's late leveller.
Dennis 57 (pen)
WIGAN ATHLETIC 3
C. Jolley 90+3 (pen)
Charlie Jolley’s 93rd minute penalty earned Latics a point against Grimsby Town, after coming from behind twice on Tuesday afternoon in a six-goal thriller in the Central League.
Latics, who went into the game with only one defeat from their last six, took the lead on 20 minutes after Luke Burgess calmly slotted past the goalkeeper from Joe Gelhardt’s flick on.
Though, two goals in two minutes for the hosts turned the game on it’s head, before Gelhardt equalised in the 85th minute.
Despite the hosts grabbing what looked like the winner in the 90th minute, substitute Jolley took responsibility from the penalty spot, slotting the ball past the goalkeeper for 3-3.
Latics made one change following on from their 4-0 victory over Rotherham United, with England youth international Gelhardt replacing Joe Piggott, who signed on a youth loan with Altrincham last month.
Latics found the breakthrough in the 20th minute. Gelhardt got in front of his man to flick on Tylor Golden’s pass and find Burgess in-behind the Grimsby defence. The latter kept his nerve to slot past the on-rushing goalkeeper and put Latics in control.
In one of the most clearest passages of play inside the opening 30 minutes, Latics kept possession well before Gelhardt was involved again.
The forward collected the ball on the edge of the penalty area, though his eventual effort was blocked, with the Under 18s' star making a bright start to the game.
Latics began the second half as they started the first, with Burgess and Gelhardt linking up well in midfield, though the final pass lacked any conviction as Olly Crankshaw, who scored a brace in Latics’ 4-0 win over Rotherham United, failed to latch onto the loose ball.
After a frustrating 50 minutes for the Mariners with very little created, the hosts struck twice in quick succession to take the lead.
The equaliser came from a free-kick took by Joe Grayson, with the delivery evading every Latics player, leaving goalkeeper, Jordan Perrin unsighted as the ball hit the back of the net.
Grimsby took advantage and despite not forcing Perrin in to a noticeable save, took the lead just 60 seconds later as Shaun MacDonald was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area.
Kristian Dennis stepped up to dispatch the ball past Perrin from the penalty spot and inflict more frustration on Nick Chadwick’s side.
Grimsby came close to adding their third of the game on 71 minutes, a bright passage of play saw Akeem Rose with space to exploit on the left-hand side, though his left-footed effort failed to trouble Perrin.
Latics’ goalkeeper was forced into action seconds later as Charles Vernam found his way in-behind the visitors defence, though Perrin was on-hand low to gather the effort.
After a cagey last 20 minutes in the second-half, Latics piled on the pressure in the search of an equaliser.
Substitute Victor Maffeo got in-behind the defence and his attempted cross appeared to have struck the hand of a Grimsby Town defender, though the referee waved away the appeals.
Jensen Weir, who replaced Alex Perry in midfield, also came on in the hope of inspiring Latics to an equaliser and did exactly that.
The midfielder’s driving run almost saw him through on goal, though the ball fell kindly to Burgess, with his effort saved, before Gelhardt anticipated the loose ball to smash home the equaliser and bring Latics level.
It was a nervy end to the game for the visitors, as Rose skipped past Golden on the left-hand side, though the final effort smashed the face of the crossbar, with Perrin beaten.
The Mariners took the lead for the second time in the game and looked to have got all three points, as Vernam’s ball eventually found it’s way into the back of the net following a goal-mouth scramble.
Latics showed their character to equalise once again in the final seconds of the game.
The visitors were awarded a penalty when another substitute, Jolley was taken out by the on-rushing goalkeeper.
Jolley stepped up to send the goalkeeper the wrong way and earn Latics a share of the spoils in a six-goal thriller.
Latics are next in action in the Central League against Port Vale on Tuesday 5 March at Christopher Park.
Latics: Perrin, Golden, Galvin (Maffeo 74), Williams, Finley (Obi 69), Perry (Weir 74), Crankshaw (C. Jolley 69), MacDonald, Gelhardt, Burgess, Merrie (capt)