Fully deserved three points for the Whites!
Premier League Cup
Wigan Athletic 1 (Costello 27’)
Leeds United 2 (Kenneh 10’, Dean 66’)
Wigan: Tickle (GK), Trialist, Lloyd, Carragher, Long (c), Payne, Baningime, McGee, Costello, McHugh, Pinnington (Trialist 84’). Subs not used: Watson, Sumner, Welsh, Lomax.
Leeds: Van Den Heuvel (GK), Sutcliffe, Ferguson, Kenneh (c) (Coleman 45’), Mullen, Littlewood, Miller, Allen, Dean, Gray (Carole 45’), McGurk. Subs not used: Christy (GK), Spencer, Thomas.
Venue: County Ground, Leyland
Referee: Martin Woods
Booked: Lloyd, Long, Payne, McGee (Wigan) Ferguson, Coleman, Dean (Leeds)
Two stunning goals from Nohan Kenneh and Max Dean saw Leeds United Under-23s claim a fully deserved three points, after a hard-working performance away at Wigan Athletic.
Mark Jackson’s side were on the front foot from kick-off in this Premier League Cup encounter, knowing that a win would strengthen their chances of qualification from Group E.
Sean McGurk was the first to force Sam Tickle into a save inside just five minutes of the game. A powerful strike from range saw the ‘keeper dive to his right and palm the ball away, in a battle that would continue for the rest of the half.
Ten minutes in, Leeds did take a lead that their early play had deserved. The ball fell to the edge of the box where an onrushing Kenneh composed himself by controlling on his chest, before smashing home a volley into the back of the net for a superb opening goal.
🚀 Nohan Kenneh with a rocket of a Volley from outside the box! 1-0! pic.twitter.com/daOEEyIDGd— Leeds United (@LUFC) January 14, 2022
Dani Van Den Heuvel had to be alert between the posts for the Whites and he was, denying Wigan a leveller following a scramble in the box. Straight back down the other end, Jackson’s side nearly doubled their lead but Archie Gray cannoned his shot against the foot of the post.
Approaching the half hour mark, the hosts equalised. Finding space on the left hand side of the box, Tom Costello broke into the area to strike low and hard into the bottom corner, to make it one each.
After Dean had come close with a high effort, former Wigan player McGurk continued his battle with Tickle. The winger had two further shots on goal, but both times the goalie would produce magnificent diving stops to keep the ball out of the net, meaning the teams went in level.
HALF TIME: Wigan Athletic 1-1 Leeds United
Coming out in the second half, the Whites made a double change. The captain and first half goalscorer Kenneh, along with midfield partner Gray, were replaced by Cian Coleman and Keenan Carole.
The start of the second half was relatively uneventful as both teams looked to settle back into the game. Miller was continuing to look lively down the wing for the Whites, whilst Harry McHugh was pushing forward for the Latics.
When a goal did arrive, it was another stunner. Leeds forward Dean picked the ball up with in the opposition half, nutmegged his marker and curled home a stunning 30-yard strike into the top corner to put his side back ahead.
🤩 Max Dean take a bow! Around 30 yards out, nutmegs the defender and curls the ball into the top corner! 2-1 pic.twitter.com/wJy0aFe6RX— Leeds United (@LUFC) January 14, 2022
The goal had taken Wigan by surprise and it allowed Jackson’s side to reestablish their control in the match as they retained possession well, after going ahead.
Entering the final 10 minutes of the match, the main moments were stoppages which saw yellow cards issued on either side.
Fortunately for Leeds and Jackson, that meant his side could play out the final few seconds and secure a fully deserved and excellent three points, moving them into second place in Group E, with one game remaining.
FULL TIME: Wigan Athletic 1-2 Leeds United