WIGAN ATHLETIC U21 3
McManaman 44, 46
BARNSLEY U21 3
Rose 15 (pen), 43
A Callum McManaman brace either side of half time and a late thumping header from Mauro Boselli earned the Under 21s a valuable point after falling behind to three first half goals.
Barnsley hit Latics hard early on with a brace of their own from Danny Rose and a John Rooney goal sandwiched in between.
Latics set themselves up with a very strong team as first team squad members Daniel Redmond, Fraser Fyvie and the goal scorers McManaman and Boselli all started.
Graham Barrow also welcomed back Filip Orsula and Rob Kiernan from their stints away with their national Under 21 teams.
It wasn’t the come-back they were looking for at first as a hard-hitting Barnsley side bullied their way into control.
There were tough tackles all over the pitch but, it was a Latics tackle that caused the first incident.
It looked as though the advancing Barnsley striker had handled as he battled in the air with Kiernan.
It was Josh Langley who eventually brought the forward down as he skipped further into the box and Rose tucked it away for 1-0.
Latics were struggling to carve out chances and on 26 minutes they were carved open themselves.
A pin-point through ball by Tom Kennedy from left full-back found Rooney sprinting through the middle and with one swift right foot he had doubled the lead.
On 43 minutes things got worse as Rose got a lucky break in the box when a shot from Rooney was well saved by Calvin Hare, who unlucky pushed it into the path of the striker.
But have no fear, because McManaman was on hand to turn the game right around.
From the kick off after the third goal Latics broke down the right and with one swift drop of the shoulder the 21-year-old found space just inside the box and drilled his shot into the bottom corner.
Straight after the break it got even better as the striker danced through the box after receiving the ball from Danny Redmond out on the left.
It was another drop of the shoulder that fouled the defender before he coolly placed a low shot into the bottom right hand corner.
With Latics on the up and pushing for the all-important equaliser, McManaman continued to show just why he is held in such high regard.
It was another ‘Macca’ though that could have levelled when substitute Jamie McCormack almost headed home with what would have been his first touch as he narrowly missed the ball from a floated corner.
As the game progressed McManaman was at it again, he dummied the ball between his own legs, span beyond his tight marker and blasted a shot which was too hot for Luke Steele to handle as he parried it away, the goal was coming.
With four minutes left on the clock that crucial goal came from the most experienced player on the pitch.
The usual superb Redmond delivery was played to the front post and up jumped Boselli who powered his header home.
The Argentinian almost won the game in the final moments but despite being through on goal and pulled down by the last defender, the referee waved play on before blowing the final whistle.
Latics: Hare, Morris, Boothman (Campabadal 35 (McCormack 62)), Langley, Kiernan, Fyvie, Orsula (Sumner 73), Chow, Boselli, McManaman, Redmond
Unused Subs: Bingham, Angoy
Barnsley: Steele, Scott, Kennedy, Kilburn, Collins, Digby (Smith 68), Clark, Patterson, Rose (Steade 89), Rooney, Silva (Shilto 87)
Unused Subs: Manis, Lidakellias