DAYTON DUTCH LIONS . . . . . . . . . . 1
LATICS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Holt 49, 86 (Pen)
Wertz Stadium, Piqua, Ohio
It was goals galore for new look Latics in a game played in very difficult circumstances in the searing Mid West heat and on a very trying surface.
Another goal apiece for Marc Antoine Fortune and James McCarthy to make it two in two for the pair; Grant Holt weighing in with a brace of his own and first senior goals for Nouha Dicko and Rakish Bingham werese were the chief positives, alongside a team ethic and professionalism which saw Latics totally outclass their hosts.
“I have to be delighted with that,” said manager Owen Coyle, “we scored six and could have had six more on a pitch which made passing the ball tough and in a heat and humidity which saps muscles. But no complaints about the conditions, that’s why we’re here, to build up fitness on the way to August 3rd, and all in all it was another great exercise for the boys.”
Coyle said he wanted to give those who had not played as much against Columbus Crew more of a run out, hence the starting line-up was altered and there were a few shifts in position, Chris McCann at centre half and Roger Espinoza at left back principally. Coyle also revealed that Callum MacManaman, who had been devastating down the right hand side in the opening half an hour, was brought off as a precaution after feeling a twinge in his hamstring so nothing to worry about on that score.
Latics were a goal up inside the first quarter of an hour when Fortune took advantage of a defensive lapse to blast in an angled shot. Number two came when Shaun Maloney tied the Dayton defence in knots before setting up McCarthy, though in fairness, goalkeeper Wichert de Wit should have probably held on to it.
Dayton had a little spell just before the break when Lee Nicholls had to dive smartly at the feet of Tjeerd Westdijk but their moment came when Brandon Swartzendruber’s header flew into the top corner of Mike Pollitt’s net barely a minute after he had come on as a second half substitute.
The two goal margin was re-established two minutes later when the move of the match started with Holt retrieving the ball on the half way line, then a neat pass and move across the midfield and Jordi Gomez’s quarter back-style through ball found Maloney on the run down the left. His perfect cross was then met at the far post by Holt for a tap in. Brilliant stuff.
Number four came when Espinoza sent Dicko behind the Dayton defence and he chipped the advancing De Wit. The 5th was another first, Bngham tucking home a great curling finish from just inside the box.
Number 6 was a touch bizarre after De Wit was forced off and it was actually Lee Nicholls who finished the game in goal for the hosts. He could do nothing to save Holt’s thunderbolt from the spot after Dicko had caused more chaos in the Lions area and was unceremoniously brought down.
Latics head to Pennsylvania next to face the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on the banks of the River Monangahela on Friday evening.
LATICS: Nicholls (Pollitt 46), Buxton (Crainey 59), Perch (Boyce 59), McCann, Espinoza, Watson (McArthur 46), Fyvie (Gomez 46), McCarthy (Beausejour 59), McManaman (Dicko 40), Fortune (Holt, 46), Maloney (Bingham 59)
All substitutes used.