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Match Reports


2 March 2019

Latics grab second consecutive clean sheet after goalless draw against Fleetwood Town to go 11 points clear at the top of the EFL Youth Alliance.

  • EFL Youth Alliance: Fleetwood Town 0 Latics 0.
  • Second clean sheet in a row as Latics go 11 clear as league leaders.
  • Latics remain unbeaten in the Youth Alliance in 18 games so far.


Latics were held to a goalless draw at Poolfoot Farm on Saturday morning in the EFL Youth Alliance, but extend their lead to 11 points after second-placed Rochdale lost 4-1 to Preston North End.

The stalemate was Latics’ third consecutive draw in a row following on from a 1-1 draw with Tranmere Rovers, with Joe Gelhardt rescuing a point for Latics with a late equaliser.
Latics made two changes from their draw with Morecambe on Tuesday, with Mitchell Culshaw and James Berry replacing Joe Gelhardt and Charlie Jolley respectively, who dropped to the bench.

Berry provides the support for Kyle Joseph in attack, after the Scotland youth international signed a professional contract with the club this month.

Latics, who set-up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, started the game brightly at Pool Foot Farm and had the first meaningful chance of the game.

Emeka Obi’s diagonal ball found left-back, Luke Robinson, who found Berry inside and the latter’s effort from distance was well-saved by the Fleetwood goalkeeper.

After a cagey 40 minutes, the first clear chance of the game came for the hosts.
Latics were caught in possession and Liam Goldsborough’s cross was defended well by Robinson, only for the ball to eventually fall into the path of Katlego Mashige, though he failed to get a clean connection on his effort from eight yards out.

Latics continued to grow into the game in the second-half and came close to breaking the deadlock just ten minutes after the restart.

Joseph did well to make the most of a loose ball and found the overlapping Robinson, and despite his cross being turned away, the ball fell to Divin Baningime on the edge of the box, but his wayward effort failed to trouble the goalkeeper.

Peter Murphy opted to make two substitutions in the hope of turning the game in Latics’ favour, with Charlie Jolley and Gelhardt both coming on.

The latter was involved immediately as his driving run won a free-kick for Latics, though the resulting effort from Robinson flew just over the bar from 25 yards.

A Substitute was involved again as Latics pushed for the winner with five minutes to spare.

Will McGuffie found Robinson on the left and his cross found Baningime, but the midfielder’s effort lacked any conviction.

Though, Fleetwood Town held on to grab a hard-fought point, much to the frustration of Latics. Latics remain top of the table in the EFL Youth Alliance table ahead of the Youth Alliance cup final against Bury next Saturday.

Latics: Jones, Maffeo, Obi, Long (capt), Robinson, Monaghan (McGuffie 77), Weir, Culshaw (O’Neil 82), Berry (Gelhardt 68), Baningime, Joseph (C. Jolley 68)
Subs: Galvin

EFL Youth Alliance League Table

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