Latics’ under-15s suffer late heartbreak in Premier League Floodlit Cup National Final at Walsall as Crystal Palace score injury time winner to secure 3-2 victory.
- Premier League Floodlit Cup National Final Report: Wigan Athletic U15 2 – 3 Crystal Palace U15
- Late Zion Atta strike wins Premier League Floodlit Cup National final for Crystal Palace.
- Latics twice led through Kian Monks and Adam Brooks but Jack Wells and Fionn Mooney levelled twice for the Eagles.
WIGAN ATHLETIC U15 2
CRYSTAL PALACE U15 3
Mooney (pen) 64
Wigan Athletic’s under-15s fell at the final hurdle in their pursuit of the Premier League Floodlit Cup as they lost 3-2 to Crystal Palace in the national final at Walsall FC on Friday evening.
Watched on by Latics’ executive chairman Darren Royle, Latics were incredible and produced the battling qualities they displayed in defeating Stoke City and Sunderland to win the Northern section at the DW Stadium – having already beaten Liverpool, Everton and Middlesbrough.
Zion Atta got the late winner for the Eagles after Kian Monks and Adam Brooks had twice given Latics the lead, though both goals were cancelled out by efforts from Jack Wells and Fionn Mooney.
Latics started brightly but found themselves thankful to goalkeeper Owen Mooney in the early stages as he spread himself excellently to deny Atta on the counter attack.
A minute later, though, Latics got in front as Alfie Devine found Brooks at the back post and his header across goal was tapped in by Monks.
Mooney then acrobatically denied Victor Akinwale at his near post as Latics battled to clear after a sustained spell of Palace pressure before Latics had chances to double their lead before the break through Chris Sze, who was denied by an Owen Goodman save before Brooks drove wide from the left of the area.
Early in the second-half, Jack Wells levelled for Palace as he headed home at close range after Curtis Robinson initially cleared a goal-bound effort from Akinwale.
Latics were then denied an immediate return to the lead by Palace keeper Goodman. First he superbly tips Devine's strike wide and then somehow saved at point blank range from Arthur Lomax.
Kieran Driscoll’s side’s persistence paid off a minute later, though as Brooks fired in on the left of the area.
That lead lasted just over five minutes, though, as the Eagles were awarded a penalty and Mooney made no mistake against his namesake from the spot.
And when the game looked to be heading to extra time, Latics were dealt a cruel blow as Adebomi's cross from the left found Atta and he fired home at the back post.
Latics should take immense pride in their run to the final and in winning the Northern section – an incredible achievement.
Latics U15: Mooney, Winstanley, Smith, Haley, Robinson, Devine, Lomax, Mariette (Gill 90), Monks, Sze, Brooks (Timlin 90)
Subs: Watson, Jones, Forshaw, Hughes, Knowles.
Crystal Palace U15: Goodman, Lewis-Brown, Adaromola, Jobson, Bartley, Sheridan, Raymond, Wells, Akinwale (Adebomi 77), Mooney, Atta.
Subs: Rodney, Cowler, Cadman, Ling, Vigor, Bishop.