An injury time goal spoils Wigan Athletic’s reserves clean sheet and a great win at Aston Villa, the final score being 1-1

Gardner 90 …………… McManaman 39

Latics’ brave rear-guard action came within a whisker of pulling off a marvellous victory against a strong Aston Villa team featuring Marc Albrighton, who scrambled home an equalizer deep in injury-time at Hinkley.

Man of the match Lee Nicholls – back between the posts after returning from the England Under 20s World Cup camp in Colombia – was in inspired form, pulling off a string of outstanding saves, but he was powerless to prevent Gary Gardner’s stoppage time header.

Villa’s side also included first team regulars Ciaran Clark and Eric Lichaj but it was Callum MacManaman who once again stood out. Just before the break he was put through by Nouha Dicko’s pin point through ball and finished calmly.

He had a chance to double his and Latics’ tally in the second half, but chose to go alone when a better option might have been to slot the ball to the unmarked Adam Dawson. Easy to say in hindsight.

Latics fought really well to match Villa, although Nicholls was in superb form. He kept out Graham Burke’s powerful first-time drive and then brilliantly palmed away a Samir Carruthers header. He then saved one-handed from Albrighton.

Graham Barrow said: “They showed tremendous tenacity but one slight lapse at the very end let Villa back in. Hopefully, that can be a decent lesson. But we can’t fault their attitude and commitment.”

VILLA: Siegrist, Lichaj, Williams, Clark, Lowry, Albrighton, Gardner, Johnson, Cameron, Carruthers (Addy, 86), Burke (Taylor, 83). Subs not used: Barrett, Caira, Nelson-Bryan.

LATICS: Nicholls, Girvan, Mustoe, Robinson, Langley, Chow, Dicko (Rugg, 56), Breeze (Boothman, 62), McManaman, Dawson (Watson, 86), Redmond. Subs not used: Cotterill, Astles


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