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MATCH REPORT: Young Latics Crowned Youth Alliance Cup Champions.

27 April 2015

Oldham Athletic youth team, sponsored by The Safeguard Group, were crowned Youth Alliance Cup champions after a convincing 4-0 victory over MK Dons.

A goal in either half for Ben Grant put the young Latics two goals ahead before Devante Jacobs and a wonder strike from Callum Etches sealed the victory for the youngsters.

Goalkeeper Paul Tyson had earlier saved a penalty just before half time to deny MK Dons from equalising but a confident display from Tony Philliskirk's men saw them win the winners.

It was a very bright start to the game for the young Latics as they pressurised the MK Dons from the outset. 

Eddie Fulwood went close in the opening seconds of the game and minutes later Jack Tuohy forced MK Dons goalkeeper Andrew McCorkell into a save from the edge of the box.

Latics continued to press and Jordache Walters, who was proving to be a constant threat all evening, should have put his side ahead on eight minutes.

The striker was presented with plenty of space inside the penalty area but struck over the bar under pressure.

It was a face-paced opening 10 minutes with efforts from Fulwood, Tuohy and Devante Jacobs just going astray.

Walters was presented with his second opportunity of the game on 14 minutes as he was awarded acres of space in the penalty area but struck straight at the goalkeeper before his follow up header was cleared.

Latics had to be wary on the break as MK Dons attacked in numbers but goalkeeper Tyson was proving to be a stubborn man to beat.

Dons' forward Kabongo Tshimanga found himself in space in the centre of goal but Latics' number one saved from close range.

Tony Philliskirk's men broke from that resulting attack and Tuohy struck the crossbar from the edge of the box as Latics continued to press McCorkell's goal.

In a frantic 20 minutes, the game became very end-to-end making for an exciting contest. 

Giorgio Rasulo, who was MK Dons' main threat, pounced on a loose ball inside the penalty area but his shot was met by the firm hands of Tyson who clawed away the danger.

Latics took the lead on 26 minutes and it was no more than they deserved.

Fulwood was allowed space on the right-hand side to pick out a man in the centre and Grant met it to head Latics into a one-goal lead.

The goal seemed to ease Latics' nerves and they started to pass the ball around with confidence whilst MK Dons struggled to get hold of the ball.

Walters almost doubled the home side's lead on 34 minutes but McCorkell did well to deny the forward from 12 yards.

Dons upped the pressure in the final five minutes of the half and were presented with a chance to equalise from the penalty spot.

George Edmondson handled the ball inside the penalty area but Tyson guessed right from 12 yards to deny Tshimanga from the spot.

A minute before the half time whistle, Latics almost made it 2-0 but Edmondson's header rebounded against the crossbar and the referee blew for half time in what was turning out to be a pulsating encounter.

The teams emerged for the second half and it was MK Dons that started the half strongly, neatly passing it but struggling to create a clear-cut goalscoring opportunity.

Latics would make them pay on 54 minutes as Grant doubled his and his sides tally for the evening.

Tuohy's free kick into the box was nodded down by Lee Knight. Grant scrapped for the loose ball and fired home on the volley to make it 2-0. 

Edmondson almost added a third for Latics on the hour mark but he headed inches over the bar from Callum Scullion's cross.

As the rain started to pour, Latics continued in the ascendancy and trebled their lead on 63 minutes.

Tuohy did well to win a free kick 25 yards out. Jacobs stepped up and bent the ball around the wall into the top corner to give Latics a 3-0 advantage.

It was all Oldham Athletic and they could have made it four two minutes later. 

Tuohy's free kick into the box was half cleared to Jacobs who volleyed goalwards but it deflected wide for a corner.

From the resulting set piece, Scullion's header smashed the crossbar from ten yards as Latics continued their onslaught on the MK Dons goal.

With 15 minutes of the game remaining, Scullion chipped the ball through to Walters to strike but Dons defender Joe Steele just recovered to deny the forward getting on the scoresheet.

Latics did make it 4-0 on 77 minutes through a wonder strike from Etches. 

A well worked free kick routine was smashed home from 30 yards by the young defender to round off the scoring for the night. 

Philliskirk made his three changes for the night as Knight, Walters and Jacobs all received standing ovations from the supporters.

Oldham Athletic: Tyson, Fulwood, Scullion, Etches, Edmondson, Grant, Knight (Mantack 82'), Tuohy, Walters (Murray 84'), Jacobs (Hargreaves 87'), Read.

Subs not used: Renshaw, Parmer.

MK Dons: McCorkell, Daffern, Tingey, Steele (Hunt 80'), Okito, Wiltshire, Hadden, Vaughan (Brittain 66'), Rasulo, Tilney, Tshimanga.

Subs not used: Wyant, Furlong, Owusu.

Goals: Oldham Athletic (Grant 26', 54', Jacobs 63', Etches 77') 4-0 MK Dons

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