All square at Altrincham as Mckay finds the target.
- Billy Mckay on target with stunner for Latics, but Michael Rankine finds equaliser.
- Latics change things up in the second half with six Development Squad players introduced.
- Jennings makes impact to win penalty, but Tavernier hits the post.
WIGAN ATHLETIC 1
Latics kicked off their five pre-season friendlies with a 1-1 draw away to Altrincham in a physical affair which saw Billy Mckay spark a moment of magic midway through the first half, only for a mistake at the back from Jason Pearce allowing Michael Rankine to equalise eight minutes from the break.
Gary Caldwell made wholesale changes throughout the second half, with six Development Squad players introduced alongside Lee Nicholls, James Tavernier, Chris McCann and Craig Morgan.
Latics fans got their chance to see new signings for the first time, with Richard O'Donnell, David Perkins, Donervon Daniels, Max Power and Sanmi Odelusi all involved from the start.
It was a solid start for Latics against their National League opponents at the J.Davidson Stadium, with the link up play between Tim Chow, James Perch, Perkins and Power showing from the early exchanges to result in an opportunity for Martyn Waghorn which was squeezed just wide of the left post.
The quartet impressed during the first 45 minutes, continually pushing Latics forward down the right side, but Altrincham held firm for the first 25 minutes.
Two minutes later and Mckay gave his side the lead, bringing the ball down perfectly on the edge of the box, before spinning his marker and curling a left footed shot into the top corner, the 880 in attendance stunned by the precision of the shot.
Confidence began to flow and Waghorn was next up to try something similar, narrowly missing the top left with a right footed effort, before Mckay challenged at the back post from a Power cross, again a narrow miss.
With Latics looking comfortable it looked like only a mistake could let Altrincham in, unfortunately it did.
O'Donnell's pass to Jason Pearce slowed down as it reached the defender, allowing Rankine to muscle in and knock Pearce to the ground, from there the striker did the rest, sliding the ball past the keeper to make it 1-1 with eight minutes to go until half time.
Latics made just one change at the break as Lee Nicholls came on for the second 45 minutes, but just before the hour mark Caldwell began to give his squad a chance, with Odelusi, Chow and Andrew Taylor replaced by Jordan Flores, Ryan Jennings and defender Reece McNally.
The game became unsettled due to the frequent changes, but began to settle down after five more changes on 62 minutes.
Tavernier, McCann, Morgan, Adrian Purzycki and Louis Robles were introduced, with Perkins, Daniels, Power, Mckay and Perch withdrawn.
That's when the game sparked back into life, and it was Jennings causing all of the problems for the hosts.
A penalty was fairly claimed for by the pacey winger after he darted between two defenders into the box before being tumbled to the ground. No penalty waved the referee.
Jennings was soon back on his feet and three minutes after the first incident he was taken down again, this time by the Altrincham goalkeeper, the final man standing in his way after a clever flick from McCann found the winger in behind.
Tavernier stepped up to take, but his confidence couldn't carry the ball in as he clipped the post with a slight touch from the keeper.
As the full time whistle sounded, Latics could be pleased with their first half performance and encouraged by the use of their younger players in the second half.
Altrincham: Deasy (Coburn 46), Sinnott, Clee, Moult, Havern, Marshall, Lawrie, Richman, Rankine (O'Keefe 59), Reeves (Deacey 59), Crowther (Trialist 59)
Subs: Leather, Heathcote, Swift, Brown
Latics: O'Donnell (Nicholls 46), Taylor (McNally 59), Perkins (Purzycki 62), Daniels (Morgan 62), Power (McCann 62), Mckay (Robles 62), Odelusi (Jennings 59), Chow (Flores 59), Perch (Tavernier 62), Pearce (Anson 73), Waghorn (Cosgrove 73)
Unused Subs: Barnett, Taylor-Sinclair