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Final Third Development League Digest 25/04/14

25 April 2014

Having seen the winners crowned in both the Final Third Development League East and West Division over recent weeks, attention this week turned to the Cup with the second Semi-Final taking place.

On Tuesday afternoon, Wigan Athletic hosted Hartlepool United at the Robin Park Arena, fighting for the chance to meet Mansfield Town - who overcame Leicester City 3-2 a month ago in the other last-two tie - in the Final.

After a strong, attacking start, Jack Phillips gave Wigan the advantage through an 11th-minute close-range finish - a lead that the Latics held until half-time despite having further chances.

Hartlepool fought back in the second half with opportunities for Jordan Richards and Greg Rutherford, but they failed to find an equaliser.

And the visiting Pools were made to pay for not finishing their chances when Wigan grabbed their second of the game. Substitute Jordan Flores crossed to fellow replacement Sam Cosgrove, whose downward header - his first for Wigan's development side - secured a 2-0 win and a place in the Final for the Latics, who remain on course for the double after securing the West Division title.

An exact date is yet to be arranged for the Final but it will take place during the week commencing Monday 5th May.

There were three league matches in the West Division the week before that, with Morecambe overcoming Wigan 2-1 at the Globe Arena thanks to a 92nd-minute goal from Dan Dunleavy.

Port Vale drew 0-0 with Shrewsbury Town, while Tranmere Rovers and Wrexham played out a more action-packed stalemate, that ended 3-3. An own goal, a long-range strike from Leo Riley and a Ben Jago header were cancelled out by a fine free-kick from Kyle Parle, a superb strike by the boot of Bradley Reidand a Danny Reynolds goal for Wrexham.

Wigan top the table from Walsall, Port Vale and Wrexham with those four teams having completed their campaigns.

Next week, Tranmere face Oldham Athletic and Shrewsbury host Morecambe to draw an end to the West Division campaign.

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

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