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FRIENDLY: Wanderers 0 Wigan Athletic 1

Tale of two penalties as Whites enjoy impressive work-out

9 July 2022

Wanderers faced neighbours Wigan in a training ground warm-up ultimately decided by two penalties.

Wanderers missed theirs as Elias Kachunga skied his effort over the bar.

And a couple of minutes later Charlie Wyke converted from the spot to claim the only goal of a competitive work-out which took the Whites another useful step towards the real thing in three weeks’ time.

Ian Evatt’s men dominated for long spells at Lostock and had the better of the chances against last season’s League One champions.

And while they couldn’t make one count to cancel out Wyke’s 33rd-minute effort there were plenty more plus points for Wanderers.

On the fitness front there was valuable game time for almost all the squad as Evatt played the starting line-up for an hour before making wholescale changes.

Bradley shot.jpg

Amadou Bakayoko wasn’t involved after sustaining a knee injury in training on Friday.

But Evatt was able to deliver a positive up-date after the game with scans showing no major damage and no more than a couple of weeks on the sidelines for the striker.

In his absence, there was a first senior outing for Connor Stanley as the former Manchester United youngster featured for the final half hour.

Summer signings Jack Iredale and Conor Bradley both started with on-loan Liverpool youngster Bradley celebrating his 19th birthday.

He again impressed, while a fine run and cross from Iredale creating the first opening for Dapo Afolayan with a shot which was blocked in front of goal.

Bradley also had an effort charged down before Wanderers were awarded their penalty with half an hour gone when Bradley was brought down by Graeme Shinne.

Kachunga stepped up but the chance of a fourth pre-season goal passed him by when he lifted his effort over the top.

Wigan’s attacking threat was largely nullified but moments later Iredale was judged to have tripped Jamie McGrath and Wyke slotted home the only goal.

Sadlier turn.jpg

The Iredale-Afolayan combination provided another chance with Afoyalan heading at ex-Wanderers’ keeper Ben Amos.

But the Whites’ best chances of an equaliser came in a largely one-sided second half.

Bradley crashed a shot over the bar before the influential Aaron Morley crossed for ex-Wigan loanee George Johnson to direct a header wide.

Wigan forced substitute keeper Joel Dixon into his only save as Thelo Aasgaard tested him from distance before Kieran Lee cleared off the line from Jason Kerr’s header from the corner that followed.

But Wanderers finished back on the front foot and went close to a deserved leveller through Will Aimson’s header and a Lee shot saved by Jamie Jones as they looked to avoid a first loss of pre-season which continues with a training-ground game again more Championship opposition in Watford on Tuesday.

Wanderers: Trafford (Dixon 60): Jones (Sadlier 60); Santos (Senior 62), Johnston (Conway 64), Bradley (Aimson 60), Dempsey (Williams 62), Morley (Lee 62), Iredale (John 60); Afolayan (Thomason 62); Kachunga (Stanley 62), Bodvarsson (Charles 62).

Wigan: (first half) Amos; Carragher, Whatmough, Bennett; McGrath, Power, Shinnie, Pearce; Lang, Humphrys, Wyke.
(Second half) Jones; Hughes, Kerr, Tilt; Darikwa, Naylor, Smith, Pearce (Robinson 66); Aasgaard, Keane, Magennis. Substitutes: Adeeko, Sze.

Pictures: Kevin Hayden


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