Latics edge seven-goal thriller away to Wrexham.
- Wrexham 3 Latics 4 in the Final Third Development League West.
- Latics go top of the FTDL with goals from Robles (2), Jennings and O'Brien.
- Young Latics side features six from Under 18 side.
WIGAN ATHLETIC 4
Robles 7, 74
A seven-goal thriller at Wrexham for the second time in the space of a month saw Latics head to the top of the Final Third Development League West, as a Louis Robles double, Ryan Jennings penalty and a late effort from Danny O'Brien saw Latics edge a 4-3 victory at Colliers Park.
The victory keeps Latics unbeaten in the league and top of the West division on seven points from three matches, leap-frogging them above the Welsh outfit.
Peter Atherton's side set up with three members of the Under 18s (Alex Lingard, James Barrigan and Matty Rimmer (a late change for Adam Anson)), alongside first team defender Jack Hendry.
Despite the changes from Latics' last competitive game against Shrewsbury Town in October, it was the familiar combination of O'Brien and Robles who got the ball rolling in the early stages.
Latics dealt Wrexham early warning signs, including a stinging shot from Jennings, before taking the lead through Robles on the counter attack from a perfectly weighted O'Brien cross.
Moments earlier Latics could have been a goal behind, but for some excellent defending from Adrian Purzycki and Liam Langford.
Four minutes after the opening goal, Jennings and Robles combined in the area, only for Jennings to be denied a shooting chance from a last ditch sliding challenge.
Latics asserted themselves going forwards and constantly had the hosts on their toes, before doubling the lead just after the half hour mark.
Lingard's cross from the left was taken under control in the area by Sam Cosgrove who was bundled over from behind by Blaine Hudson, with the referee immediately pointing to the spot.
Jennings strolled up confidently to find the bottom left corner, a perfectly placed spot kick for 2-0.
Latics were forced to defend leading up to half time as Wrexham stepped up, using their physicality to work a way back into the game.
Five minutes from the break Fowler's influence helped the hosts pull a goal back, with his cross finding Terrell at the left post for a close range header.
Latics made one change at the break, with first year apprentice Matthew Taylor introduced for his Development Squad debut in place of Lingard who appeared to have taken a knock.
Within three minutes of the restart both sides had chance to score. First, O'Brien raced down the right side, only for his effort to be turned away by Cameron Belford, before Fowler's spectacular volley from 20 yards cracked the under side of the cross bar and bounced away from the goal line.
Controversy followed when O'Brien and Robles combined once again, the striker this time denied by Belford, but it was the aftermath that caused concern when Robles appeared to have been stamped on by the goalkeeper. An incident unseen by the officials.
Latics dusted themselves off an continued to press, again O'Brien trying to provide for his team mates, but a low cross struck Cosgrove hard at close range as he was unable to turn the ball home.
Wrexham had themselves level shortly after the hour mark, and the warning signs were there after Owen Evans was forced to tip Terrell's headed effort wide of his top right corner.
From the resulting corner Aaron Simpson towered above everyone to power home Fowler's corner.
It wasn't long though until Latics were threatening the Wrexham goal again, this time O'Brien and Robles combined the opposite way around, the striker breaking free down the left before cutting the ball across for the winger who side footed his effort agonisingly wide of the left post.
O'Brien came close again shortly after the 70th minute when he was closed down in the area, before he turned provider for the second time in the match.
No prizes given for guessing who turned in his cross, Robles on the end of it at the left post to bundle the ball over the line for his eighth of the season and second of the match.
Latics hit Wrexham hard on the counter, with Hendry striding out of defence to send O'Brien scampering down the right side for the assist.
Robles nearly had his hat-trick 13 minutes from time, working hard to reach and retain the ball in the left corner, before cutting inside the box and lashing a low shot at Belford. The keeper parried to the feet of substitute Callum Lang, only for Wrexham's defence to crowd the forward out.
Eight minutes from time Latics had their fourth and this time it was finally O'Brien on the score sheet, or was he? One for the dubious goals panel.
Another darting run down the right side led to 4-2, O'Brien squeezing the ball underneath the keeper after a deflection from a covering defender, the ball creeping just over the line before Wrexham last man fired the ball into his own side netting.
Wrexham made it a nervy ending with a third goal five minutes from the whistle, when Fowler's free kick from the left side found its way across the face of goal and into the right corner.
Latics did well to deal with the hosts' late pressure, and Robles almost had the last say when he received the ball from Taylor's run down the left, only to be denied by a fingertip save from Belford.
Wrexham: Belford, Doran, Simpson, Hudson, White, Fowler, Walsh, Royle, Gray, Jackson, Terrell
Subs: Sharpe, Cook, Etherington, Collins
Latics: Evans, O'Brien, Lingard (Taylor 46), Hendry (Lang 76), Langford (Burke 63), Barrigan, Purzycki, Cosgrove, Robles, Jennings, Rimmer
Unused Sub: Roberts