All the action in the second half with four goals, two red cards and penalty not given
Town: Harry Lewis, Ryan Hickman, Ben Burton, Callum Roberts, Callum Grogran, Niall Flint, Tom King, George Hassall (Kaiman Anderson 53), Jacob Farleigh (Josh Ginnelly 53), Jordan Wilson (Joel Carter 46)
Subs: Jack Butts, Alex Ashton, Nathan Millis, Ryan Sears, George Hughes
Town welcomed Wigan Athletic to the Sports Village with the homeside looking to get back to winning ways after last weeks home defeat to Morecambe. Town take on Lincoln City in the FA Youth Cup on Tuesday night and with this in mind manager Ian Dawes named a team with a number of the U16s in.
The game kicked off in lovely sunshine despite it being the start of November and Town crafted a couple of decent efforts in the first 10 minutes, the first when Hassall challenged with the Wigan keeper and then Carter with a snap shot that flashed across the face of goal.
The best of the opening chances were dropping to Town and when Hassall found space outside the Wigan box he did well to hold off his marker before putting in a decent shot the keeper did well to get a hand to and tip onto the bar.
As the game wore on Wigan began to pass the ball around a little more, were more comfortable in possession and were more threatening now in attack, first a good save from Lewis denied the visitors and minutes later Wigan burst into the Town box and looked odds on to get a good shot in but the Town defence were strong and got in a good block to deny the shot.
Chances were still dropping to Town and when the ball came to Jacob Farleigh on the edge of the box he found the space to get a goal bound effort in on the Wigan goal but it took a deflection to take it behind for a Town corner.
The first booking of the game went to Wigan number 4 after cynical pull back on Farleigh, the referee had been doing well in the first half despite a few crunching tackles flying in.
HT: Town 0 Wigan 0
After their good showing in the first half Town needed to keep things tight and build on the performance, but that all went out of the window with just over a minute on the clock. Wigan grabbed the lead and it was a little too easy, their number 10 got in behind the Town defence and calmly lifted the ball past Lewis giving the Town keeper no chance.
It was a double whamey for Town with Wigan getting a second goal 5 minutes later when the visitors floated a corner over, it was cleared but only as far as a Wigan player who hit a low drive which flew into the Town net giving Lewis no chance.
Ian Dawes changed things around bringing on Kaiman Anderson and Josh Ginnelly in a double substitution replacing George Hassell and Jacob Farleigh. It gave Town a different attacking edge and within 5 minutes Town had grabbed a goal back. It came after a Town free-kick was cleared, it was put back into the mixer and the ball finally fell to Joel Carter who turned it home from inside the Wigan box to make it 2-1.
Wigan were reduced to 10 men with still 30 minutes of the game remaining following an altercation between the Wigan number 10 and Niall Flint which left Flint on the ground, the ref was quickly over and had no hesitation in producing a straight red card.
Towns numerical advantage only lasted for a couple of minutes before Niall Flint pulled back his opponent, he'd already picked up an early yellow following a clumsy tackle and it was now 10 v 10.
On 70 minutes Town should have been given the chance to level things, a ball in behind the Wigan defence saw Kaiman Anderson in on goal, the Wigan keeper was quick off his line but Kaiman nicked the ball past the keeper and was caught on the angle, to his credit Kaiman tried to keep on his feet but when he finally tumbled he looked up and was amazed to see neither a foul or a penalty give against the Latic's keeper.
Wigan were digging in to keep their lead and were picking up a few cautions along the way, one after the number 6 had blatantly blocked Josh Ginnelly after he'd created a run in on goal and then for the number 15 after he'd taken Ben Burton out late after the Town defender had cleared down field.
The small margins between success were highlighted with 3 minutes to go after a good ball in behind the Wigan defence found Joe Kenton in on goal, he was caught in two minds and tried to nick the ball with his foot when an attempt to head the ball over the outrushing keeper might have been the better option. The Wigan keeper collected and released it quickly to put Wigan on the attack, they broke with pace and options and added a third goal to give the Latic's a 3-1 win.
Town's next game is at the Greenhous Meadow on Tuesday (4th) when they welcome Lincoln City in the FA Youth Cup.