Skip to main content

U21 REPORT: LATICS 2 LEEDS 2

BRACE YOURSELF - Joey Johnson's second goal against Leeds

PUBLISHED

16:33 5th February 2013

by Nick Taylor

Joey Johnson brace keeps Latics unbeaten home run alive.

WIGAN ATHLETIC UNDER 21s 2
Johnson 30, 58

LEEDS UNITED UNDER 21s 2
Poleon 3
Walters 83

After falling behind from a freak defensive error and Dominic Poleon solo finish, Latics battled back to go 2-1 ahead with two instinctive finishes from Under 18 forward Joey Johnson before being pegged back by substitute Lewis Walters.

Both sides battled against the elements as the afternoon began with a snow shower and swirling winds but after initial nervy moments from defenders, the game flowed into an all action affair.

Graham Barrow and Dennis Lawrence handed a second consecutive start to Johnson and a debut to another Under 18 player in the form of Luke Ainscough in midfield, with Callum McManaman and Jordan Mustoe giving the side some first team experience.

Just three minutes into the start of the game Latics suffered at the hands of the saturated pitch when Tim Chow's pass to Edu Campabadal from midfield was caught short on the surface, allowing Poleon to collect the ball and make his drive towards goal.

The Leeds forward opened up into space with just the keeper to beat and powered the ball past Marko Marosi to give his side an almost instant lead.

It didn't take long for Latics to gain control of the game though and their confidence and quality shone through with two-goal Johnson providing the first glimpse for the hosts.

On 12 minutes Chow almost made up for his unfortunate error when his perfect through ball teed up Johnson with just the keeper to beat but it was Eric Grimes who came out on top as he saved low with his left foot.

Latics continued to dominate the game and right on the 30 minute mark Johnson got his second goal in two starts for the Under 21s after scoring last week at Barnsley.

A short corner between Callum McManaman and Ryan Watson was sent into the near post by the latter who forced Grimes into what looked initially like a good stop however, he spilled the ball and Johnson sniffed the chance to poke Latics level.

McManaman looked the most likely to give Latics the lead with his constant pressure down the left side but, his crosses into the box fell inches behind players on a number of occasions as the game headed towards half time.

Just five minutes after the break the 21-year-old rattled the cross bar with a fantastic curling free kick and looked on in anguish as Latics continued to come close.

On 58 minutes though the goal came and it was that man Johnson again providing the clinical finish.

Leeds will be wondering how the goal came about as Watson pass from the left wing deflected up into the air for Tim Chow to head on beyond the back line and into the path of Johnson who timed his run well.

The defence stood static as Johnson's strength and pace held off the trailing men, with his left footed finish the icing on the cake as he slotted the ball round a helpless Grimes.

Six minutes later McManaman almost made it 3-1 with another testing free kick but this time Grimes was equal to it with a diving save low to his right to tip the ball around the post for a corner.

With 15 minutes to go Johnson almost made it a dream home debut when he had the chance for his hat trick.

Another Under 18 regular Jordan Flores was brought on to make his debut and it was his powerful run down the left side and cut back from the by-line that provided Johnson with his chance.

Latics' number 11 shaped to side foot into a gaping goal at the back post but Leeds' keeper Grimes flew across his line to block at the last second.

Seven minutes later and Leeds made Latics pay for the miss when Poleon's cross was met by Lewis Walters who beat defenders to the ball to equalise from close range.

The goal didn't stop Latics from pushing for a winner but late pressure didn't pay off as both sides left with a point apiece.

Latics: Marosi, Campabadal, Mustoe, Buxton, Morris, Langley (Flores 70), Ainscough, Chow, McManaman (Bingham 66), R,Watson, Johnson
Unused Subs: Hare, Sumner, Angoy

Leeds: Grimes, Otte (Skelton 57), Turner, Lenighan, Gimpel, Killock, Turner, Poleon, Habibou (Walters 69), Hall (Parkin 76), Mowatt
Unused Subs: Coyle, Payne

    Related Articles