U21 Professional Development League 2
Team: Salamon, Jude-Boyd, Ogwuazor (Lawrence), Harrack, Hawkins, Trialist (Trialist), Talla (McCann), Murphy, Sackey (Tuck), Petrie, Jeche
Yet another North-West training ground at an isolated location. Christopher Park in Standish is about three miles from Wigan Town Centre as the crow flies, but unlike yours truly, the crow does not have to rely on public transport.
Due to my late arrival I missed the first ten minutes of the game, but it was still evident to me that during the first-half we were second-best.
Wigan were two goals up in the opening 35 minutes. The first was what can only be described as being of the soft variety!
Youssef Chentouf’s pass from the right found an unmarked Josh Stones in the box who proceeded to score.
The second happened when the R’s defence was undone by a brilliant ultra-long through ball, which allowed Chentouf to run onto and then slot home from the edge of the box.
Rangers pulled a goal back just before the break with a good header from Nathan Jeche, to keep the contest alive. Half-time: 1-2.
Into the second-half and Rangers took command from the restart. On 52 minutes, Paul Furlong made two astute changes when Teddy Lawrence replaced Jaden Ogwuazor and a trialist came on for the other one. This was to prove vital.
The Latics keeper made two good saves from Harry Murphy and in the 65th minute, Wigan had a player sent off.
Six minutes later, Teddy Lawrence grabbed the equaliser, and with just a few minutes remaining, the R’s substitute scored a dramatic winner.
The result was never going to be in doubt, in fact, in time added on, the confident Rangers players played a session of ‘keep ball’.
The final two substitutions were made in the closing stages,which saw Alfie Tuck and Noah McCann come on for LorentTalla and Samuel Sackey respectively.
Yes, the old cliché, a game of two-halves. Overall, it was quite an entertaining encounter, but there were less than sixty spectators to witness it. Perhaps the England Women’s game on TV at the same time had something to do with the below-par attendance.
Bernard Lambert (Kerrins)