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DEV.SQUAD REPORT: LATICS 5 PRESTON 4

PUBLISHED

16:06 19th November 2013

by Nick Taylor

Nine goal thriller as Latics progress to LFA Cup semi final.

WIGAN ATHLETIC 5
Antelmi 5, 9
Johnson 49
Andres 72
Jennings 81

PRESTON NORTH END 4
Ryan 23
Brownhill 42, 68
Byrom 60

Wigan Athletic booked their place in the semi final of the LFA Senior Cup, but it wasn't without an incredible nine goal thriller, which saw Latics take a two goal lead inside nine minutes, only to find themselves 4-3 down with 20 minutes remaining until Guillermo Andres and Ryan Jennings turned the game on it's head for 5-4.

Trialist Patrick Antelmi scored a double, but Preston were level by half time through two defensive errors on the edge of Latics' area.

Joey Johnson made it 3-2, before Joel Byrom equalised for 3-3, with Brownhill giving the visitors the lead for the first time in the game.

Second half substitute Jennings made his impact known to assist for 4-4 and lob the keeper for 5-4 to seal the victory for his side.

John Henry's side included the in form Danny Redmond and full backs Jordan Mustoe and Adam Buxton as the more senior members of the team, with Mike Pollitt between the sticks.

It was a blockbuster start for Latics and their Australian forward Antelmi whose clinical finishing had the side 2-0 up just nine minutes in.

He opened the scoring by latching onto the end of a threaded Redmond pass down the right of the area and slotting beyond Ross Dalton.

The well taken finish was followed by a similar one just four minutes later when Preston failed to clear on the edge of their own area and Antelmi took advantage, stealing the ball and sliding it into the bottom right corner.

Latics were flying at 2-0, but claiming a goal back in the 23rd minute through target man Jack Ryan, Preston unsettled the hosts into a second mistake just before half time.

Preston already looked dangerous when Joel Byrom struck the cross bar on 32 minutes, but 10 minutes later then finally found the net again, this time Joe Whittington picked up a slack pass on the edge of the area and fed in Josh Brownhill who made no mistake in dispatching low past Pollitt.

The goals continued to flow in the second half and the game became even more end-to-end.

Johnson put Latics 3-2 up after just four minutes, this time Luke Dobie sliced the defence in two with a perfectly weighted pass across the back line, allowing Johnson in one-on-one to lash the ball home.

On the hour mark Preston levelled once again, this time Byrom was among the goals with a fine finish from distance.

North End then put themselves ahead for the first time in the match when Ryan headed the ball down in the penalty area and Brownhill added his second of the game, squeezing the ball under Pollitt's body.

There was a sense of more goals coming and Ryan Jennings' introduction gave Latics the bite they needed to turn the game back on its head.

His untouchable pace led Latics to equalise for 4-4, when he out-sprinted the Preston full back to get on the end of Johnson's switch from left to right.

Jennings then rode a lunging challenge to open up a crossing opportunity, finding Guillermo Andres on the edge of the six yard box as the Spanish striker tucked the ball home with the inside of his right foot.

The minutes were ticking down and penalties looked inevitable, but both sides continued to push for that all important fifth.

With nine minutes left Latics found that all important goal, the ninth of the match, when Redmond's clever ball over the top of the defence allowed Jennings to burst through, take a touch and then lob the ball behind Dalton for 5-4.

Inside the final five minutes the experience of Mike Pollitt became crucial when he saved at close range from Nick Anderton as a dangerous Preston free kick drifted from the right side to his back post.

After three minutes of added time the referee's whistle brought relief for Latics in what was a high octane game of football, with clinical finishing and end-to-end attacking.

Latics: Pollitt, Buxton, Mustoe, Wilson, Langley, Meadows, Johnson, Dobie (Jennnings 63), Antelmi, Andres (Hamilton 87), Redmond
Unused subs: Ainscough, Chow, McNally

Preston: Dalton, Nicholson, Anderton, Byrom, Roscoe, Sampson, Monakana (Gray 83), Kilkenny (Holmes 80), Ryan, Brownhill (Forbes 80), Whittington
Unused subs: Hudson, Scott

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