RESERVES: WIGAN ATHLETIC 1 WALSALL 0 RESERVES: WIGAN ATHLETIC 1 WALSALL 0

RESERVES: WIGAN ATHLETIC 1 WALSALL 0

Earlier this afternoon Walsall Football Club's Reserve side travelled to Christopher Park in Greater Manchester to take on Wigan Athletic in the latest Final Third Development League (West Division) fixture of the season.
Earlier this afternoon Walsall Football Club's Reserve side travelled to Christopher Park in Greater Manchester to take on Wigan Athletic, in the latest Final Third Development League (West Division) fixture of the season.

Walsall, who sat third in the table ahead of kick off, arrived at the game on the back of a 3-0 victory over Shrewsbury Town, whilst Wigan, who were placed second, defeated Morecambe 4-0 during their most recent outing.

Walsall got off to a bullish start, but it was Wigan that had the first opportunity of the game, Andy Delort had an effort blocked, then Matty Hamilton's follow up was saved by MacGillivray.

Then Oriol Riera crossed dangerously, Delort meeting the ball, though his header went over the bar.

Delort and Riera linked up again soon after, Delort has an effort saved, Riera's follow-up header hit the post and was cleared.

Wigan continued to control the game as they reached the midway point of the first half.

The Latics' James Tavernier slid in to deny Mal Benning as a James O'Connor cross landed at the wide-man's feet.

Flame-haired midfielder Reece Flanagan was denied by some wonderful last-ditch goalkeeping, he wriggled his way into the box but was heavy with his touch, keeper' Connor Keane slid in hands first and spilt the ball, but as Flanagan tried to lift it over the keeper, Keane then lifted both of his legs into the air only to back heel the ball over his own head and into his hands whilst lying on the ground.

Wigan's Ryan Jennings dribbled through the Saddlers' midfield, and fed Hamilton, who had his shot saved by MacGillivray.

Soon after, Mathieu Manset beat his marker and was one-on-one with the 'keeper, who saved his side once again, this time with his feet.

As we reached the final minute of the half Wigan took the lead, Andy Delort avoided several challenges in the box to fire in low past MacGillivray. A deserved goal for the heavily involved forward.

 HALF TIME  WIGAN ATHLETIC RESERVES 1 WALSALL RESERVES 0 

A couple of minutes after the second half got underway, Andy Delort was the target of a very good Tavernier cross, the forward just a stride away from doubling the Latics' lead.

Walsall had a goal disallowed on the fifty-minute mark, Wigan 'keeper Kean grasped a cross only for Mathieu Manset to kick the ball out of his hands, into the net, the referee rightfully disallowed the French forwards effort.

Wigan's William Kvist was booked a few moments later, having grabbed his marker around the scruff of the neck, a yellow was inevitable.

Ariol Riera volleyed over the bar following Cowie's disguised pass, the Latics remaining in charge of the tie.

As we reached the hour mark Wigan made two changes, Cowie and Rogne being replaced by Chow and Wilson.

Wigan then won a corner which was headed wide by Kiernan at the near post.

Wigan's Mayowa Balogun was then booked for a poor challenge, the midfield man fully deserving his caution.

The Latics then made their final change, with Declan Poole replacing Ryan Jennings as they looked to secure all three points.

Both sides continued to create chances, with the home side remaining in the lead, Walsall fairly poor in the final third.

Just ahead of the eightieth minute Wigan won a corner after Chow's cross was blocked, Tavernier's corner was cleared.

Saddlers 'keeper MacGillivray saved well from Hamilton as the Latics looked to extend their lead.

The home side then won another corner, Delort breaking from his own half to feed Poole, whose cross was met by Chow, Walsall defend well to prevent a goal, the corner was cleared at the near post.

Riera was then denied by MacGillivray who grabbed the ball at his feet following a poor first touch.

Then; Tavernier fed the ever-present Riera, who went on to beat two men only for Craig MacGillivray to tip his shot over the bar. The resulting corner was cleared.

Soon after Delort went close after cutting inside from the wing, the Latics looking good in attack as the game came to an end.

 RESULT  WIGAN ATHLETIC RESERVES 1 WALSALL RESERVES 0 
  GOALS   DELORT (45') 

 WIGAN ATHLETIC  Keane, Tavernier, Balogun    , Cowie (Chow), Kiernan, Rogne (Wilson), Jennings (Poole), Kvist    , Delort, Riera, Hamilton

 SUB NOT USED  Evans

 WALSALL  MacGillivray; O’Connor, Henry, K.Rowley (Probert), Preston; Benning, Clifford (L.Rowley), Flanagan, Kinsella, Morris; Manset

 SUB NOT USED  Shakespeare
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