A Mauro Boselli hat trick powered an experienced Under 21 side to a thumping victory at Christopher Park
WIGAN ATHLETIC 5
Boselli 22, 42, 82
NOTTINGHAM FOREST 0
Mauro Boselli provided a master class in clinical finishing this afternoon as his hat trick was just the icing on the cake in an efficient an exhilarating Under 21 victory against Nottingham Forest.
A Ben Watson free kick and late strike by Danny Redmond rounded off the scoring as a Latics’ side filled with senior squad members dominated the young Forest outfit.
Graham Barrow had the luxury of filling his quota of eligible over-age players as Mike Pollitt started in goal, with Ben Watson and Boselli also stepping into the team alongside loanee Ryo Miyaichi who qualifies by being under the age limit anyway.
The first chance of the game set the tone for the afternoon when Redmond beat the full back down the left and found Boselli on the penalty spot with a low cut back.
The Argentinian forced Forest ‘keeper Dimitar Evitmov into a smart save low to his right, something which became somewhat of a theme throughout the game.
Within the space of seven first half minutes Latics had four clear cut chances, the best of which fell to Tim Chow who shot narrowly wide from the edge of the penalty area.
It wasn’t going to be a game of rued, missed chances though and on 22 minutes Latics opened the scoring.
Chow was the provider after excellent interchange between Miyaichi and Callum Morris down the right. The midfielder’s cross was curled off his instep and span delightfully onto the head of Boselli to put the ball back across the keeper and into the net.
Five minutes later and Boselli could have had his second when McManaman slid him in one-on-one with Evitmov but, the Bulgarian made a smart stop as he blocked the Argentinian’s low shot.
Just after half an hour it was then off the line when Miyaichi headed a McManaman cross towards the corner of the net.
As the game edged towards half time, Redmond this time turned provider for the rampant Boselli when he won possession in his own half and sliced open the defence with a through ball to the striker.
Boselli had it simple from there as he knocked the ball beyond the advancing Evitmov to nestle the ball in for 2-0.
It could have been three on the stroke of half time when Miyaichi was given a similar chance to finish but, once again Evitmov was out quickly and blocked a low shot.
The onslaught continued after half time with the first clear chance coming to substitute Rakish Bingham who replaced Miyaichi at half time, his shot though was dragged wide inside the box.
Latics were enjoying the game so much that even Roman Golobart marauded forward from defence, dribbling the ball like a winger before playing in a deep cross.
On 67 minutes the third goal came to make it all the more comfortable.
Chow won it after being clattered 25 yards out and then Ben Watson used his experience and skill to curl it right into the top corner and in off the angle of the cross bar and post.
As the second half progressed Latics looked more and more comfortable and McManaman was once again proving untouchable in the Under 21 environment as he used his skill and commitment to battle against the Forest defence.
With 10 minutes to play Golobart almost got himself a goal when he turned a low McManaman cross just wide of the post but, then came the fourth and the hat trick goal for Boselli.
Under 21 regular Callum Morris turned provider, playing a hard ball into the box and Boselli was in the right place at the right time as it by-passed the defender and was knocked in from the middle of the six-yard box.
Forest were never really in the game and Latics rounded off the rout on 90 minutes with a goal that is credited to Redmond despite a deflection off Forest Captain Matty Regan.
Despite the fortunate deflection it was the bravery to even attempt a shot from almost 30 yards that was impressive as he lined it up left footed and let fire, with the deflection cruelly fooling the goalkeeper.
As far as Under 21 performances go it was one of the finest ever witnessed as Latics turned in a five star performance and despite heavy influence from first team squad members, it was the regulars who impressed with Chow, Morris and Redmond exceptional throughout.
A highlights package of the goals will be available on Latics Player and interviews with Under 21 coach Graham Barrow and midfielder Fraser Fyvie will also be available.
Latics: Pollitt, Morris (McCormack 84), Redmond, Chow (Lynch 84) , Golobart, Lopez, Miyaichi (Bingham 45), B,Watson, Boselli, Fyvie, McManaman
Unused Subs: Hare, Orsula
Forest: Evtimov, Gregory, Fenton, Lansbury (Papworth 45), Gorman, Regan, Blake, Wallace, Ferrier, Tudgay (Otim 45), Osborn
Unused Subs: Smith, Ackroyd