EFL Youth Alliance Champions Latics beat Rochdale in the final game of the 2018-19 season at Christopher Park.
- U18 EFL Youth Alliance Report: Wigan Athletic 2-1 Rochdale.
- MacKenzie O’Neill and Charlie Jolley earn Latics three points against Rochdale.
- Champions Latics finish the 2018-19 season with 62 points.
WIGAN ATHLETIC 2
C. Jolley 10
An unprecedented season for the Under 18s came to a winning conclusion on Tuesday afternoon, with EFL Youth Alliance champions and treble-winners Latics edging out second place Rochdale 2-1 at Christopher Park on the final day of the campaign.
Goals from Charlie Jolley and MacKenzie O’Neill secured all three points for Peter Murphy’s treble-winners, who ended a three-game run without a win in the EFL Youth Alliance.
Latics made two changes following their 2-2 draw with Wrexham FC last time out, with Jolley returning to the side after making his first team debut against Millwall at the DW Stadium on Saturday.
Jolley, who has 42 goals across the academy set-up this season, was recognised on Bank Holiday Monday, picking up the Michael Millett Youth Team Player of the Year award at the End of Season Party in the Park.
Luke Robinson also came in for the hosts, replacing Brad Roberts at left-back, with the latter scoring Latics’ first goal against Wrexham last Saturday.
Latics appeared to start in a 4-4-2 formation, with Victor Maffeo and goal-scorer O’Neill providing the width for the hosts, whilst Jolley and Joseph led the line.
As is expected this season, Latics were on the front foot early on and made the perfect start inside four minutes. O’Neill, who has been a key figure in Latics’ end of season success, collected the ball from 12 yards before smashing the ball past Piper.
Murphy’s side continued to build on their foundations early on and doubled their advantage just six minutes later as Jolley, full of confidence from his first team bout at the weekend, latched onto a loose ball before rounding the goalkeeper and slotting into the empty net.
Despite being two goals behind, Dale continued to cause problems for the hosts in their pursuit of a way back into the game and they were eventually rewarded on 65 minutes.
Tavares showed great skill to get past Robinson before finding Moreland at the back-post who finished clinically to give the visitors a glimpse of hope.
Though, Latics produced a resolute performance to hold onto their lead in the final stages in the second-half to finish their remarkable 2018-19 season on a high thanks to first-half goals from O’Neill and Jolley.
Latics: Tickle, Broe, Robinson (Galvin 66), H. Jolley, Isherwood, McWilliam, O’Neill (Culshaw 58), Monaghan (McGee 58), Joseph, Maffeo, C. Jolley
Subs: Jones, Long