Youth team boss Tony Philliskirk was proud of his players following yesterday’s Lancashire FA Professional Cup quarter final win against Bury.
Festus Arthur put Athletic ahead before Ryan Cooney equalised for Bury just before the half time break. However, in the final five minutes of the game, Francois Antoine scored to win the game for Latics.
Speaking about the game, Philliskirk said: “An hour before kick off we found out Chinedu Uche couldn’t play due to suspension, Jay Sheridan failed a fitness test and we didn’t have the schoolboys because it was during the week.
“We started the quarter final with Harry Robinson who hadn’t played for six months due to a serious operation, Declan Baldwin who hasn’t trained for a month and Bailey Whalley who had been out for three months with an injury so you’re thinking ‘oh dear’.
“We were against a very good Bury side who beat us in the Youth Cup so to come through and win the game was an outstanding achievement by the lads but I think it shows they had a lot to prove.
“I thought the Youth Cup game earlier in the season was sad because it wasn’t us on the night and the boys totally under performed. In the lead up to this game we rerun the game and to do what they did yesterday was pleasing.
“I tactically went about the game differently, so I learned as well, and with the players we had missing, we were very good.
“Tom Hamer played half injured and he was immense so I was proud of my players yesterday. It shows what the mind and body can do in the face of adversity.
“I’ve been critical of the boys over the last couple of months, and rightly so at times, even though we are third in the league and into a cup semi-final, but yesterday was my proudest day of the season so far.”