Latics make it three consecutive wins on the bounce after putting four past Doncaster Rovers in the Central League on Tuesday afternoon.
- Academy Report: Doncaster Rovers 0 Latics 4 in the Central League.
- Alex Perry, Chris Merrie and James Berry all on target as Latics continue to lead the way.
- Latics have two games remaining against fellow titles chasers Rotherham United and North West neighbours Morecambe FC.
DONCASTER ROVERS 0
WIGAN ATHLETIC 4
Walker o.g. 21
Goals from Alex Perry, Chris Merrie and James Berry completed a perfect away performance for Latics, continuing Nick Chadwick’s side’s impressive away form.
On a day of difficult conditions, Latics had to adapt their style of play and dig deep, with their efforts eventually paying dividends.
Latics took the lead in fortunate circumstances after Rovers failed to clear their lines from a dangerous cross and Victor Maffeo, who was pushed further forward for Latics, arrived at the back-post to flick his effort towards goal, with the last touch coming off a Doncaster Rovers defender.
Latics found their rhythm shortly after and doubled their lead in the 67th minute, courtesy of a wonder goal from Perry.
The midfielder took a quick free-kick from halfway, seeing the goalkeeper off his line and his long-range effort eventually found the back of the net.
Despite pressure from the hosts in the hope they could find a way back into the game, Latics inflicted more damage on the Rovers with a third goal.
Captain, Merrie pushed forward before striking a right-footed volley past the goalkeeper to give Chadwick’s side some much-needed breathing room.
Though, Latics were in control of the game and added a fourth in the closing stages courtesy of substitute, Berry.
Owen Evans’ goal-kick was contested well by Jolley, Berry and Merrie, which saw the latter latch onto the loose ball and play in Berry first time, who slotted past the goalkeeper from the edge of the box.
Latics deservedly grabbed all three points in a convincing away victory to secure their third consecutive victory and extend their unbeaten run to six games in the Central League.
Latics lead the division by one point above Rotherham United who have a game in hand and must still face Latics at Christopher Park, whilst Port Vale sit third, five points behind Latics with two games in hand after suffering a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Mansfield Town on Tuesday.
Senior Professional Development Phase Coach, Chadwick, praised his players following a spirited victory in tough conditions
“All credit to the players, they worked really hard and stuck to their task really well from the attack all the way to the defence”, he said.
“The players did the other side of their game well, I’m absolutely delighted with the players, I thought they worked really hard for the victory.”
Chadwick also praised the impact of Under 18 squad members Maffeo and Berry:
“Victor played a little bit higher today in midfield, so it was nice for him to have freedom going forward and being able to showcase his ability.
“James has got all the ability in the world, he managed to come on and affect the game by getting himself a goal, so I’m delighted for him.”
“I’m happy with all the goals, the Under 18s came in and did great, the front two Kyle (Joseph) and Charlie (Jolley) were a handful today, as well as Luke Robinson at left-back, they need to show me they can progress to the next level and step up and they did that today.”
Latics are next in action in the Central League on Tuesday 16 April against Rotherham United at Christopher Park.
Latics: Evans, Golden (Long 86), Robinson (Finley 68), Obi, Martin (T), Merrie (Capt), Burgess (Culshaw 86), Perry, Joseph, Jolley (Berry 78), Maffeo (McGuffie 74)