Wigan Athletic's Under 18s prepared in perfect style for their first game back in the Professional Development League when they came from behind to beat a Liverpool side getting ready to face Bradford City in the FA Youth Cup.
John Doolan and Joe Parkinson's side impressed as they pitted themselves against a strong Liverpool side in a game of intelligent passing and attacking excitement.
As well as a chance for the Under 18s to shake of any Christmas cobwebs, Jack Phillips, Josh Sumner, Peter Aylmer and Rakish Bingham from the Under 21s all got the chance to get some minutes under their belt before their next game against Huddersfield Town on Monday.
After falling behind in the first half it was centre back Ellis Gibbons who drew Latics level.
Midfielder Sumner then made it 2-1 and resident Under 18 Jordan Flores extended the lead with a sensational left-footed drive.
Liverpool grabbed a late goal but with time on Latics' side they saw the game out at 3-2.
Doolan's Under 18s are back in action on Saturday when they face Huddersfield on Saturday at Christopher Park.
He was delighted with the progress of the squad and said:
"It was a great exercise for the lads after the little break over Christmas and a chance to get any rustiness out of their systems.
"Everybody showed great desire and it was good for confidence to beat a side that are preparing for an FA Youth Cup game.
"We had a few missing with Joey Johnson, Bram Johnstone and Ryan Meadows all representing the Under 21s on Tuesday but, the lads who came from the Under 21s to up their fitness and get game time after injury came in and helped the flow of the game.
"With the preparations we have made for the rest of the season and the development of our young players, it is an excited period of time to be involved with the academy."