Wigan Athletic U23s 2 Charlton U23s 1
Charlton U23s made the long trip up to the North West of England only to leave Wigan empty-handed after slipping to a 2-1 defeat.
Kai Naismith was the hero for the hosts, who had a number of first-team players among their ranks, netting either side of half time to give the Latics daylight. Charlton’s Charles Clayden pulled one back but it was only to be a consolation goal as Wigan Athletic held on for the win.
The Addicks would have been looking for a response after their defeat to Burnley in their last outing and they started off the game the brighter side at the Euxton training ground, Wilberforce Ocran seeing his shot on two minutes crash off the post after being set up by Abraham Odoh.
The Latics, clearly rattled by Charlton’s early pressure, quickly grew into the game and on seven minutes could have taken the lead themselves. A familiar name, though not the familiar face, Joe Piggott latched on to the end of an Olly Crankshaw cross but couldn’t keep his header on target.
Piggott continued to be a thorn in the visitors’ side soon after, the on-loan Stockport County forward just failing to convert from a teasing Naismith delivery.
On 38 minutes Toby Stevenson had to replaced by Kenneth Yao after a nasty clash of heads saw the defender leave the field with concussion.
Despite Wigan’s chances, Charlton were looking to see out the half at 0-0 and looked to do so until two minutes into stoppage time.
From a corner, Naismith rose highest to head the ball beyond the reach of ‘keeper Nathan Harness to break the deadlock seconds from the interval.
After the restart, Charlton’s task was to become an even steeper one when Naismith doubled Wigan’s advantage, the left-back powering home a header from a Lee Evans free-kick to give the Latics breathing space on 52 minutes.
The hosts very nearly had a third moments later when Evans’ angled ball found Naismith who nodded on for Piggott but once again the latter failed to find the net.
Charlton were to then claw one back through substitute Clayden who was able to shake off his man before curling home a fine effort leaving Jamie Jones with little chance.
But there was to be no further joy for Charlton as Wigan held on for the win ensuring the Londoners came away from Euxton empty-handed.
Wigan U23s: Jones, Sterling, Trialist, Kipre, Naismith, Merrie (c), Mcleaod, Evans, Baningme (Smith 72), Crankshaw (Golden 84), Piggott (Jolley 63)
Subs (not used): O’Neill, Long
Goals: Naismith 45+2, 52
Charlton U23s: Harness, Matthews, Stevenson (Yao 38), Morgan, Keefe, Vega, Odoh, Dempsey (c), Davison, Ocran (Clayden 71), Powell (Vennings 62)
Subs (not used): Harvey, Quitirna
Goals: Clayden 74