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A goal in the first minute of time added on gave Wigan Athletic a 2-1 win at Gawthorpe this afternoon and end our hopes of reaching the final of the Lancashire FA Youth Cup.

1718 burnley dylon meredith 00 500x500It was very definitely a goal against the run of play in a game that saw Burnley recover from a poor first half to put the visitors under some tremendous pressure that looked, at times, as if it would provide the winner.

Wigan scored the opening goal of the game in the 43rd minute, just as it looked as though we would reach half time with the scores level. There really couldn’t be any complaints. They had been the better side and we were probably fortunate to have gone so long into the game without conceding.

Our one real chance of that first half came when Marley Blair went on a mazy run but he just couldn’t get enough in his shot at the end of the run and the keeper saved, but at the other end we were uncharacteristically sloppy in defence and mighty fortunate not to have conceded more goals.

Last time I was down at Gawthorpe, I thought we turned in the best performance I’ve seen all season against Crystal Palace but this was probably as bad as I’ve seen and there just had to be an improvement in the second half.

There was. Wigan weren’t creating chances now and we were having the better of things but it was the introduction of Dylon Meredith (pictured) and his left foot delivery that had Wigan defending for their lives.  His right wing corner, with his first touch, they only just managed to scramble clear and they were lucky to survive a couple of free kicks he delivered into the box.

We won a free kick on the right hand side with eight minutes to go. Again the delivery was perfect but no one needed to get a touch as it went in directly in the far corner. Back level, we threw everything at Wigan to try and get a winner but they won it in the end after they broke quickly down the left after a Burnley attack, the ball going across goal for their striker to finish at close quarters.

Even then, the game wasn’t over and Wigan had about another four minutes of frantic defending to deal with. They cleared one off the line, the goalkeeper made a very good save and, right at the death, we fired a shot just wide.

In the end, we just couldn’t get that second equaliser and there was to be no place in the final for Burnley.

Our team was: Adam Bruce, Jordan Cropper, James Clarke, Scott Wilson, Matthew Rain, Tristan Jumeau (Dylon Meredith 77), Dan Moss, Ethan Kershaw (Sam Layton 64), Marley Blair, Kian Yari (Michael Fowler 57), Craig Ellison. Subs not used: Joe O’Shaughnessy, Will Harris.

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