Latics cut the gap in title race in entertaining 3-2 win.
- Latics win 3-2 away at Bury in entertaining contest.
- Stunning goals from Lang and Gregory, McNally on target with the winner.
- Latics still third, but two points behind leaders Rochdale.
Burgess 20, 62
WIGAN ATHLETIC 3
Latics moved to within two points of Youth Alliance leaders Rochdale with a hard-fought 3-2 victory over Bury at the JD Stadium on Tuesday evening, initially coming from behind to grab the spoils in an entertaining contest.
Scott Burgess opened the scoring for the hosts with a stunning long range effort, but Callum Lang's equaliser just before the half hour mark was equally as jaw-dropping. A minute into first half stoppage time Latics gave themselves the lead with another outrageous effort, as Josh Gregory bent in a precise free kick.
Bury came out flying in the second half and with the aid of a rather sizeable deflection had themselves level again through Burgess, but not for long, with Reece McNally grabbing what turned out to be the winner on 68 minutes.
Latics were made to work hard for their points on the night, fending off numerous Bury attacks throughout the second half, but holding strong to claim a priceless win.
Bury enjoyed the opening exchanges at the JD Stadium, pressing Latics and playing some stylish football, with two early chances for the pacey Brayden Shaw to show for it.
Pressure was building at the back for Latics, Owen Evans tested with high crosses on a number of occasions, but on 20 minutes there was no way he could stop the young Shakers taking the lead, with Scott Burgess firing into the left corner from distance.
The midfielder's effort set a tone for first half goal scoring, and just nine minutes later the impressive Callum Lang had Latics level.
Before then it was half chances and a Louis Robles free kick in terms of Latics' final third entries, but Lang made his chance for glory pay.
The ball popped up for the right sider on the edge of the area, and first time he struck sweetly with his right foot, bending the ball inside the right post for 1-1.
Latics' equaliser shook Bury somewhat and they struggled to re-assert any dominance in the flow of play.
Robles came close not long after the equaliser, but his near post header beat Bury keeper John Ruddy and his cross bar.
A minute into first half stoppage time and Robles' direct running style gave Bury a real problem. He darted down the left side and looked to cross, but just as he was about to enter the area, the striker was clipped. Free kick Latics.
Step up Josh Gregory to a position that looked more destined for a cross than the proceeding goal.
The midfielder caught everyone out with his resulting effort, bending the ball over the keeper and into the top right corner with precision, giving Latics a half time lead at 2-1.
Bury flew out of the blocks in the second half, giving Latics plenty of pressure to withstand.
It paid off for the hosts just after the hour mark, a skillful dribble into the box from Burgess followed up by a huge deflection off the chest of Sean Harrison to wrong foot Owen Evans. 2-2.
Each time a goal was scored the opposite side seemed to gain the momentum, and it was the same story this time around, with Latics pulling 3-2 in front just six minutes later.
A corner on the far side from Alex Lingard was headed down towards the bottom left corner by James Barrigan, only for his effort to be cleared off the line. Luckily for Latics the clearance fell straight to McNally at close range for him to smash low into the bottom corner.
Bury went back on the offensive and tested Latics on a number of occasions, even clipping the outside of the post, but Latics held out with stern defending to deny Bury a second equaliser on the night.
A huge three points towards Latics' title bid was sealed, taking their unbeaten league run to 21 games.
Bury: Ruddy, Potter (Crosdale 87), Gibson, Bourne, Poscha (Capt), Foulds, Miller, Burgess, Dudley, Mohamed, Shaw
Unused Subs: Kimmins, Williams, Durham, Turner
Latics: Evans, Baxendale, Lambert, Gregory (Randell 90+1), Harrison, McNally, Lang (Merrie 82), Purzycki, Barrigan, Robles (Capt), Lingard
Unused Subs: Jackson, Bannister, Stubbs