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Reserves hit for six

27 November 2013

Academy opponents top of the class

Latics' reserves were given a footballing lesson by the Nike Academy who beat them 6-3 in a friendly at Chapel Road.

The Nike team was a collection of young discarded professionals, mainly from throughout Europe, and they proved too strong for Latics.

There were eight different nationalities in Nike's starting line up while the young Latics' side had six scholars in from the start.

Spaniard Eric Gomez put Nike ahead after only five minutes when he was put clean through. And that was the start of a challenging morning.

Jordache Walters (pictured) quickly equalised for Latics while Jordan Bove failed to convert three presentable chances which came his way in the opening half hour.

Latics lost their way conceding three goals in an 11-minute spell late in the half.

French striker Brahim Sabaouni was put in the clear and he slotted low past keeper Luke Simpson.

Simpson pulled off a flying save to deny Ukrainian Eldar Bodrov before the same player made it 3-1 with a screamer into the top corner.

Dutchman Doriano Kortstam added a fourth goal shortly before the break, another spectacular effort.

Swede Ermal Hajdari made it 5-1 soon after the restart with a low shot.

Latics produced a brief flurry to reduce the deficit to 5-3 after 53 minutes.

Carl Winchester provided the low, far-post cross for Bove to have an easy tap in and then John Pritchard's 25-yard free kick was curled over the defensive wall into the top corner.

Simpson pulled off a good save to deny South Korean Soo Young, but was at fault for Nike's sixth, a low shot from Hajdari.

* The Nike Academy is based at the FA's St George's Park headquarters at Burton.

It was founded in 2009 to find clubs for unsigned under-20 players who had been released.

In the last three has helped 22 players earn professional contracts and the Academy's most famous player has been Tom Rogic who now plays for Celtic and the full Australian national team.

Head coach of the Nike Academy is former Watford, Cardiff and Swansea striker Jimmy Gilligan. 

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