After receiving a bye that saw us automatically proceed to the second round of the Youth Alliance Cup, we were hoping to emulate last season’s success of reaching the final. This Saturday, we travelled to Wigan Athletic for the second-round tie.
Our first attack came when Joe Brennan’s free kick was placed in the path of Dylan Mottley-Henry however, Wigan’s goalkeeper headed the ball away just outside his box Rhys Jenkinson found the cleared ball and good link up play between him and Mottley-Henry earned us our first corner on five minutes.
We were quick on the attack however, we failed to capitalise going forward and should have done better from three direct free kicks in the first ten minutes.
We fought to regain possession and continued to press when we had the ball and Wigan’s defence struggled to deal with Mottley-Henry’s pace. We took the lead in the 12th minute, when the winger’s cross found Joe Brennan who tapped the ball into the net.
Wigan came close with a free kick just before the break, but a strong five-man wall managed to block and clear the ball away. We enjoyed more chances than the hosts and deservedly went in at half time one nil up.
Following the positive first half, Callum Chippendale’s strong shot from was saved by the goalkeeper on 50 minutes. Despite the attacking play, Wigan enjoyed their share of chances and equalised just after the hour mark.
We came close from the restart when Chippendale provided the perfect cross but it was too fast for Brennan to connect. In the 71st minute Sumali Cissa beat his man but Chippendale’s shot was again saved by the goalkeeper.
The 90 minutes ended 1-1 and it went straight to penalties to decide which team went through to the third round. Despite goals from Joe Brennan and Danny Devine, Wigan won 4-2 winners.
Next week we’re back to the league and are away at Doncaster Rovers.