ASHTON TOWN 2
Olsen 61 (pen)
WIGAN ATHLETIC XI 1
A mix of first year professionals and John Doolan’s new recruits in the Under 18s went down 2-1 to North West Counties side Ashton Town at Edge Green Street.
After initially falling behind to a header from a corner, Latics full back Danny Leigh equalised on the stroke of half time but a second half penalty by Andy Olsen sealed a victory for the hosts.
There was fast pace to the start of the game as Latics looked eager to stretch their legs for the first time in a pre-season friendly.
Early chances came for both teams with Marko Marosi being forced to tip the ball over his crossbar on 20 minutes.
A minute later and Ashton had the lead when Paul Keenan powered in a header from the resulting corner.
Marosi was forced into a number of impressive saves throughout the first half, saving low from Pollard and tipping a header from Wilkie over his bar.
On 36 minutes Joey Johnson saw red after a frustrated challenge saw him go slightly over the top of the ball and catch his opponent.
Latics began to force themselves on top despite the one man disadvantage and they eventually broke the Ashton resolve when Liam Lambert whipped in a left footed cross to the back post for fellow full back Danny Leigh to force the ball over the line.
The hosts changed their full team at half time giving their own youth team some game time but it was experienced striker Andy Olsen who put the back ahead.
After a foul by Lambert just inside the area the referee pointed straight to the spot and Olsen coolly finished on 61 minutes.
As with the first half Latics upped their game towards the end of the 45 with Ryan Jennings showing 100%.
With 10 minutes to go the Under 21 winger made a 35 yard dribble through the Ashton defence and was dragged down on the edge of the area to earn a free kick.
Second year scholar Jordan Flores took the free kick but the Ashton goalkeeper was equal to it as Latics’ winger looped the ball over a five man wall.
Back in Latics’ goal Marosi prevented a third Ashton goal with an excellent reaction saved as a deflection popped up in front of the Slovakian-born stopper for him to punch away.
As the light faded in Ashton in Makerfield the referee blew for full time.
Ashton Town: Reid, Baker, Summerskill, Keenan, Brownrigg, Pollard, Wilkinson, Wilkie, Rushton, Smart, Jump
Latics XI: Marosi, Leigh, Lambert, Trialist, Gibbons (Harrison 45), Ainscough (Mather 67), Carey (Purzycki 45), Johnson, Hamilton (Foukamene 45), Jennings, Flores