Latics start New Year with a bang as Robles grabs a hat-trick in 4-2 win.
- Latics go 12 league games unbeaten at home to Carlisle.
- Robles scores hat-trick in 4-2 win.
- Anson on target as Latics hold on to top spot.
WIGAN ATHLETIC 4
Robles 38 (pen), 50, 90+4 (pen)
CARLISLE UNITED 2
New Year, same results for Latics as Peter Atherton's side made it 12 games unbeaten in the Football League Youth Alliance with a 4-2 victory at home to Carlisle United, Louis Robles adding to his impressive tally with a hat-trick in a sometimes gritty performance at Christopher Park on Saturday.
Latics fell behind after 11 minutes, but battled back to take a 3-1 lead. Carlisle Kieran Hall then turned in the goal of the game from distance, forcing Latics to fight hard to maintain their lead, until Robles scored his hat-trick goal in second half injury time.
The visitors started quickly when they opened the scoring as Jack Elliott headed in at the near post, connecting with a cross from the left.
Latics responded, upped their game and eventually equalised seven minutes from half time from the penalty spot.
Josh Gregory was tripped inside the penalty area having gathered Liam Lambert's pass from the left, and up stepped Robles to coolly slot the ball into the bottom right corner.
A strong start to the second half put Latics in the driving seat and it was a second for Robles that gave them the lead.
Strike partner Anson won the ball high up the pitch before feeding Latics' top goal scorer into the area, and with a swift shift between his feet, Robles remained composed to slide the ball under the goalkeeper.
A third goal came shortly after with both forwards involved. Robles and Alex Cvetkovic exchanged passes down the right, with the latter darting into the box down the by-line, before cutting it back to Anson for a poacher's tap-in.
It could have been 4-1 moments later when Robles was sent one-on-one with the keeper, with only a fine block from the Carlisle stopper denying him a hat-trick.
Latics were buoyant and looked in control as they kept their high standards, but out of nowhere the visitors produced a spectacular goal to drag the game back to 3-2.
Kieran Hall gathered the ball on the half way line, pushing the ball out of his feet down the left channel, before unleashing a left footed, dipping effort which found the top right corner.
Carlisle upped their efforts, but Latics met them with resolve, finally seeing out the game in added time when Robles converted his second penalty to claim his first hat-trick of the season.
Latics: Evans, Burke, McNally (Merrie 69), Harrison, Langford, Cvetkovic (Lingard 90), Purzycki (Barrigan 69), Gregory, Lambert, Anson, Robles
Following the victory, Under 18s coach Peter Atherton shared his thoughts:
"We've set high standards in the youth team so far this season, so the manner of the first goal was disappointing, but the character to come back and go 3-1 up was very pleasing.
"To win our first game back after the Christmas break is a great way to look into this year, especially scoring four goals in difficult conditions.
"We had to battle during spells of the second half after they scored their second goal, but our resilience to hold on was very impressive.
"I've got to praise Louis for scoring three goals, and I've got to praise Adam Anson too, because he's started to play up front having played at centre back in his first year as a scholar. Adam's enjoying his football and producing the goods in terms of chipping in with some goals."