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U18 REPORT: TRANMERE 1 LATICS 2

John Doolan and Joe Parkinson give out the instructions from the touch line

PUBLISHED

16:20 18th April 2013

by Nick Taylor

Latics progress into LFA Youth Cup semi final with Johnson and Mather on the score sheet.

TRANMERE ROVERS U18s 1
Riley 81

WIGAN ATHLETIC U18s 2
Johnson 23
Mather 77

Goals from Joey Johnson and Christian Mather saw Latics through to the semi final of the LFA Youth Cup with a 2-1 victory over Tranmere Rovers at their Raby Vale training ground.

The windy conditions throughout made it a testing game for both sides but Latics showed quality at the right times to take a 2-0 lead before Tranmere grabbed a late consolation.

It was the hosts who came closest first of all though as eventual scorer Leo Riley struck the post just seven minutes in from range, a warning shot to Latics' defence.

As the game went on and the wind continued, Latics started to gain control in the game, with Johnson opening the scoring on 23 minutes.

Great work from Matty Hamilton set Johnson through on goal with defenders either side attempting to muscle him off but, the forward struck first time and a fortunate bobble on the pitch took the ball over Tranmere keeper Sam Ramsbottom who had already committed himself to an attempted save.

Ellis Gibbons almost made it 2-0 just before half time when he rose above the Tranmere defence from a Johnson corner but saw the ball taken off his head by Ramsbottom's punch clear.

Two minutes into the second half Mather nearly doubled the lead when he intercepted the ball on the half way line and advanced down the left towards the edge of the area, before lashing the ball left footed into the side netting.

John Doolan introduced Sam Cosgrove and Omar Thompson just after the hour mark for Johnson and Ryan Meadows, with Thompson playing a part in Latics' second goal.

The doubling goal came 13 minutes from time when Jamie Gibson played Thompson down the right wing, with the 18-year-old cutting inside to tee up Hamilton.

Hamilton struck first time but saw his shot beaten away by Ramsbottom only as far as Mather who delicately curled the ball up and over the goalkeeper and into the opposite corner of the goal.

On 81 minutes Tranmere made it a tighter end to the game when Riley's free kick looped over the wall to draw the game back to 2-1.

It wasn't enough for the hosts and despite trying to find an equaliser, Luke Ainscough time and time again broke up their forward movement, in a performance which was highly praised by his manager John Doolan.

Doolan said:

"Luke was magnificent this afternoon and every decision he made was the correct one.

"He didn't panic on the ball and showed real maturity in his performance."

On the performance overall Doolan said:

"It was a difficult game because of the windy conditions but the lads did well to make sure that we went through.

"In a cup competition the main thing is to progress and I'm happy that we've done that."

Tranmere: Ramsbottom, Newton (Phillips 39), Maher, Smith, Shaw, Shackleton, Riley, Duggan, Davies, Jago (Lamb 71), Moynes (Omatola 68)
Unused Subs: Cringle, Williams

Latics: Hare, Gibson, Mason, Gibbons, Johnstone, Meadows (Thompson 63), Ainscough, Anderson, Johnson, Mather, Hamilton (Cosgrove 63)

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