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Pritchard is Latics' matchwinner

23 September 2012

Sublime free kick earns victory

John Pritchard's sublime free kick late in the game earned Latics' under-18's a 1-0 victory against Port Vale in the Football League Youth Alliance, North West Conference.

The winger struck a peach of a dead ball from outside the penalty area into the top corner.

"It was a sublime finish and worthy of winning any game," enthused Head of Youth Tony Philliskirk.

It was a terrific display against the Valiants who started the day in second place and who had an older, bigger and physically stronger side.

Indeed. with a more ruthless streak in front goal, Philliskirk believes his side would have had a more emphatic margin of victory.

Philliskirk was especially pleased with his side's defensive display with centre-backs Tomos Clarke and Ryan Ellison outstanding.

Clarke is a first-year scholar and Ellison a schoolboy, but they were rock solid at the back.

"It was also a case of the team defending well as a team from the front which was pleasing," Philliskirk added.

The opening period finished goalless, but Latics could easily have been two or three goals to the good.

Danny Gosset had a couple of openings while Luke Wandless's header was blocked on the line.

It was a more even second half, but Latics still had chances before Pritchard scored the winning goal.

And with the Valiants pressing for an equaliser late on, Latics could have added to their tally following several dangerous counter attacks.

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