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Match Reports

U18's Report: Wigan Athletic 1-1 Tranmere Rovers

25 February 2019

Tranmere held at league leaders Wigan after last minute equaliser.

Andy Parkinson’s side put in a tremendous display, being only minutes away from causing one of the biggest upsets of the season. They led an undefeated Wigan side right until the final minute, before an 89th minute strike from range salvaged a draw for the hosts.

Tranmere started the game in dominant fashion, Bailey Thompson led the Rovers front line, with support from George Nugent and James Salkeld. The front three linked up well in the early stages and managed to win a corner in the 5th minute. Salkeld whipped in a dangerous ball that was met by the towering Kyle Hayde who smashed the ball over the line to send Wigan into shock.

Rovers were content on letting Wigan have the majority of possession, the back three of Harrison Musuamba, Nick Long and Carl Spellman were resolute, not giving the Wigan front two a moment on the ball.

Parkinson’s side were a threat on the counter, the tenacious Joe Blackham alongside Danny Walker-Rice’s attacking mentality ensured Rovers could drive the ball into the front three, giving Wigan plenty of worry about.

Wigan ended the half well. Wide-man Mitchell Culshaw linked up well with full back Ollie Broe to get to the Rovers by-line, putting in a dangerous cross that was met by James Berry who struck the outside of the post, narrowly going wide.

The second half played out similar to the first, Wigan were struggling to break down Rovers resilient back-line and Tranmere continued to threaten on the counter. Most notably, on the 56th minute, Nugent skipped past his man with ease and carried the ball half the pitch to deliver a cross that was fractions away from being nodded in by Salkeld.

Most of Wigan’s efforts came from range, with keeper Bayleigh Passant producing a number of important saves to keep Rovers ahead. In despite of his efforts, in the 89th minute, England international Joe Gelhardt picked up the ball inside the right channel and shifted the ball onto his left foot, firing the ball into the net.

The ending was a disappointing for one for Rovers after leading for such a long proportion of the game, however Parkinson’s side should take real pride in their performance and how they battled throughout the 90 minutes.

The result sees Rovers remain unbeaten in 2019 as they now prepare to take on Morecambe on March 12th.

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