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PNE Academy 3 Wigan Athletic Academy 2

26 March 2016

A hat-trick from second year scholar James Boyd made it two wins in a week as the young Lilywhites overcame table-toppers Wigan at Robin Park.

Following up from their 4-0 demolition of Rochdale in the week, North End played this ‘home game’, in Wigan due to Chorley’s Easter schedule, but the venue mattered not as Boyd scored three second half goals in just 26 minutes to give Nick Harrison’s men a deserved win.

Two late goals from the Latics took a small gloss off the win, but it was another resounding performance from the U18s .

After a goalless first half North End came to life straight after the interval; 18-year-old Boyd opened the scoring with a devastating run between the defence of Will Ryder’s side, latching onto a well-weighted through ball before finishing with aplomb into the bottom right hand corner.

He added his and PNE’s second three minutes later when he controlled a cross in from the left hand side, moved the ball cleverly in behind the Wigan defence with his first touch before volleying expertly into the bottom right corner with his left foot.

And the matchball and three points were secured 15 minutes from time. This time it was a more simple opportunity when a foul by Donaghey in the box gave the Lilywhites a penalty and Boyd made no mistake from 12 yards, firing past Absalom into the bottom right hand corner once again.

The game was virtually over when the ‘away’ side grabbed two goals. With a minute of normal time left Luke Burke gathered the ball in midfield before finding James Barrigan in PNE’s half. Latics' leading goalscorer slotted a pass for trialist Jordan Wilson to run onto for a calm finish from the left side.

In the first minute of stoppage time Donaghey's free kick from the right side was turned in by a North End defender under pressure from another trialist defender Josh Williams, but the point were secured and North End finished a positive week with an excellent win.

PNE line-up: Hudson, Burgoyne, Whelan, Meulensteen, B Roberts, A Jo Robinson, Howard, Jagne (Creech, 75), Davidson (Barry, 82), Boyd, Earl (Crankshaw, 82). Subs not used: C Roberts, Kwateng.

Wigan Athletic line-up: Absalom, Plant, Lingard (Taylor, 80), Donaghey, Williams, Stubbs (Forecast, 66), Burke, Lang, Sang, Barrigan, Burgess (Wilson, 52). Subs not used: Roberts, White.

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