WIGAN ATHLETIC UNDER 21S 1
BIRMINGHAM CITY UNDR 21S 0
Mauro Boselli bags the winning goal as Latics fight gallantly for the three points after going down to ten men
It was far from being an easy game but, Latics saw out a memorable victory in the circumstances after Jordan Mustoe was sent off with just 18 minutes on the clock, after that though Mauro Boselli’s cheeky chip over David Lucas provided the crucial goal.
Latics were in control from the off and despite the red card, they continued to control the game and were impressive and solid in defence to see out the win.
Graham Barrow had the quality of Boselli, Callum McManaman and Fraser Fyvie at his discretion as they showed the desire to get game time.
The home side started strongly and the warning signs were early towards Birmingham City as Callum Morris and Danny Redmond offered dangerous width with the ball being played from right to left with ease.
It could have been 1-0 a minute before Mustoe’s sending off when McManaman held the ball up on the half way line to play Morris in down the right.
Morris then played a neat one-two with Steven Boothman and continued down the wing before whipping in a low cross which Boselli could only glance on the volley, it was free-flowing and fantastic to watch.
Latics were on top and a goal was certain to soon come but, instead a 50-50 challenge between Mustoe and Birmingham right back Ryan Higgins was deemed to be dangerous, with Latics’ left sider judged to have come in high and hard.
That didn’t stop Latics from continuing their pressure though and Boselli was once again provided the threat when he got on to a low McManaman cross, only to see his shot deflected away from the diving goalkeeper David Lucas who somehow outstretched a hand to reign the ball in.
There was a penalty claim soon after when Morris nutmegged the defender and was seemingly brought down as he entered the area but the referee waved play on.
It didn’t stop them though and on 28 minutes a flowing move from goalkeeper to striker was finished off in fine style.
Danny Redmond played the decisive ball as he opened up the defence to put Boselli in on goal, the Argentinian sold Lucas who went to ground and with expert precision he chipped the ball over the keeper’s body and nestled it into the net.
In the first half Calvin Hare was hardly troubled as Birmingham failed to break the defensive line in front of him, with Jamie McCormack and Adam Buxton clearing every attempted cross and long ball.
The second half was less comfortable for Latics who had to defend solidly for long periods.
Hare was in fine form though and once again Latics were nullifying any threat as he came out to claim dangerous crosses and free kicks.
Latics had to settle with attempted counter attacks as the extra man advantage for Birmingham began to show as the game went on.
The away side very rarely threatened though but, the one chance they got was fantastically turned away by 18-year-old Hare in goal.
It was a flowing move down the right and a strong run by Higgins who beat his man at the by-line to cross into the path of Jake Jervis.
Jervis flicked the ball through his own legs at the front post at close range but out came a strong arm from Hare who pushed the ball away, the reflexes were outstanding as he only had a split second to react.
With time running out McManaman continued to frustrate Birmingham as he seemed untouchable on the ball and if it didn’t go his way he drew the foul to win Latics the advantage.
Latics: Hare, Morris, Mustoe, McCormack, Lynch, Buxton, McManaman, Fyvie, Boselli (Bingham 82), Redmond, Boothman (Watson 82)
Unused Subs: Orsula, Sumner, Andres
Birmingham: Lucas, Higgins, Hawker (Ebanks 84), Moshni (Brown 75), Delfouneso, Deaman, Reilly, Morrison, Asant, Jervis, Gomis
Unused Subs: Ntambwe, Preston, Fry