Jennings and Johnson score Goal of the Season contenders in Forest cup win.
- Jennings, Johnson and Poole on the score sheet in 3-1 win.
- Latics progress in the Under 21 Premier League Cup.
- City Ground victory for Joe Parkinson's side against Forest.
NOTTINGHAM FOREST 1
WIGAN ATHLETIC 3
Latics’ Development Squad secured their safe passage into the next round of the U21 Premier League Cup with a superb 3-1 victory at Nottingham Forest’s City Ground.
Two early Goal of the Season contenders from Ryan Jennings and Joey Johnson proved the difference on the evening before the excellent Declan Poole rounded off the scoring for Joe Parkinson’s side.
Ben Osborn added a late consolation for the hosts who fielded six first-team players in their starting XI.
It was Latics who had the first chance of the evening as Matty Hamilton saw his shot from the centre of the box deflected wide after good play by Jennings on the right.
Hamilton, Jennings and Johnson all linked up well before Jordan Flores had a glorious chance for Latics.
Flores, who was out on the left at the City Ground, dispossessed Tyler Walker, son of former England international Des, before breaking into the penalty area and going one-on-one with Dorus De Vries only for Walker to make a fine recovery tackle.
Oliver Burke fired well over from 25 yards for Forest before Michael Wilson made a superb last-ditch tackle to deny Josh MacDonald who looked certain to score from eight yards when he met Jack Kelly’s cross.
Jennings had Latics’ best chance of the first-half when Liam Lambert’s cross missed everyone and fell to the winger at the back post but he fired into the side-netting from ten yards.
Ben Osborn fired a 20-yard effort wide for the hosts on the stroke of half-time but Parkinson’s side went in at the break level and happy with their efforts.
Forest started the second-half brightly and MacDonald went close to opening the scoring when he met Burke’s pull-back only for Latics’ Luke Burke to clear after a combination of Lee Nicholls and Wilson blocked the initial effort.
Latics had a glorious chance of their own early in the second-half as Tim Chow did excellently to power down the right before cutting back for Hamilton who stepped away from the Forest defender before striking straight at De Vries from six yards.
Jamie Paterson showed his experience with some fine play down the left before he cut onto his right foot and curled just wide of Nicholls’ left-hand post as the hour mark approached.
It was Latics who would be rewarded for their endeavour as the game looked set for extra-time, though, with Jennings carrying the ball from the right before driving a fine left-footed effort into De Vries’ top right-hand corner from 20 yards.
Johnson doubled the advantage nine minutes from time; the forward picked up possession and beat three Forest defenders on his way into the area before chipping elegantly over former Swansea keeper De Vries.
Poole added further gloss to the score-line as the 90th minute approached; the midfielder broke into the area to hammer substitute Louis Robles’ cut-back home.
Osborn hammered home in the third minute of stoppage time for the hosts after Nicholls had twice denied Lars Veldwijk.
Latics: Nicholls, Burke, Lambert (McNally 63), Poole, Wilson, Rogne, Jennings (Robles 81), Chow (Cvetkovic 71), Hamilton, Johnson, Flores.
Unused Subs: Keane, Purzycki
Forest: De Vries, Walker, Kelly, Rees (Otim 78), Riera Canadell, Fenton (Polimos 68), Burke, Grant, Veldwijk, Osborn, Paterson.
Unused Subs: Todorov, Durrant, Dawson