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Final Third Development League Digest 03/04/14

3 April 2014

The race for the Western Division title will go into next week at least as favourites Wigan Athletic were dealt a blow with a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Oldham Athletic.

The battle between the two Latics saw Oldham take a 44th-minute lead through Jordan Bove. Patrick Antelmi levelled for the visitors just after the break before Joey Johnson saw his penalty saved by home goalkeeper Joel Colman. That save inspired Oldham, who netted in the 88th minute courtesy of John Pritchard's free-kick to claim the points.

Walsall, in second, fully capitalised on that slip-up by the league leaders as they posted a comfortable 2-0 win at home to Shrewsbury Town. Playing at Chasetown's Church Road ground, a fine strike from Jake Heath and a second-half spot-kick from Kieran Morris were enough to give the Saddlers all three points, closing the gap on Wigan to a single point.

Also in the hunt - although rank outsiders - is third-placed Wrexham, who scraped past Morecambe. The Welsh side took a 10th-minute lead through Steve Tomassen's penalty and held on for a 1-0 victory despite conceding a penalty just two minutes later; goalkeeper Joslain Mayebi committed the foul but recovered to save Marcus Marshall's effort.

The Red Dragons can still mathematically win the title but they are five points behind Wigan with two games remaining.

Elsewhere in the West Division, Tranmere Rovers beat Port Vale 2-1 at Prenton Park. Rovers fielded five trialists for that match, with two of them - Callum Harris and Tom Derry - netting either side of a Wilson Carvalho penalty.

Tranmere moved off the bottom of the table into sixth with Vale remaining in fourth, but it's Wigan who lead the way with 25 points from 12 games. Walsall are one point back having played one more match, while Wrexham are on 20 points from a dozen outings. Should Wigan beat Tranmere on Tuesday 8th April then they will be crowned Western Division champions.

The other fixture to take place this week was on Monday with the penultimate game of the Eastern Division season seeing Rotherham United cruise past Cup finalists Mansfield Town 5-0. Mitchell Rose made his first appearance for seven months as he continued his recovery from a knee ligament injury, with a brace apiece from Tom Hitchcock and Jerry Yates, plus an effort from Nicky Walker all arriving in the second half.

To keep updated with the latest news from the Development League, follow @FinalThirdDevLg.


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