Confident Latics through in Youth Alliance Cup with 3-0 win.
- Match report from Latics 3 Notts County 0.
- Stubbs, Merrie and Lingard help Latics progress in Youth Alliance Cup.
- Latics now unbeaten in seven, collecting seventh clean sheet of season.
WIGAN ATHLETIC 3
NOTTS COUNTY 0
Latics made it a perfect week on Saturday, progressing in the Youth Alliance Cup with their third win in seven days as they dumped Notts County out of the competition with a confident 3-0 victory at Robin Park Arena.
Having won 2-0 against Morecambe a week earlier in the league, and having sealed progression in the FA Youth Cup with a 4-2 win against York City midweek, Latics were on form once more thanks to goals from Sam Stubbs, Chris Merrie and Alex Lingard.
Will Ryder's side are now unbeaten in their last seven games and collected their seventh clean sheet of the season at the weekend, in what has been an exciting start to the campaign.
It was a competitive start to proceedings on Saturday morning, with Latics up against a Notts County side who had won their previous six matches in all competitions.
Latics showed promising signs of their usual progressive and attacking football, but it took until the 28th minute for them to break through.
Lingard turned in his first assist of the afternoon when his swinging corner found Stubbs at the left post, the defender bundling home his second of the season to put Latics 1-0 up.
The goal shook the visitors and breathed confidence into Latics, with Merrie going close minutes after the opener, his quick footwork down the left side of the area enough to work a shooting chance, only for his left footed effort to trickle wide of the right post.
Five minutes from half time Chris Sang came even closer to doubling the lead, Merrie also close once again when his shot was turned away by the Magpies' goalkeeper, with Sang following up the parry only to see his effort cleared off the line.
The visitors almost changed the rhythm of the game seconds late, but a timely interception from captain Luke Burke denied them on the counter, preventing a cross reaching Jack McMillan unmarked in the area.
Two minutes from the break Latics re-affirmed their control on the game when they eventually doubled their lead.
It was Merrie on the score sheet at the third time of asking, controlling Lingard's cross, after excellent work down the left by the full back, before firing home into the bottom right corner.
Latics could have gone in even further ahead, only for Lingard's free kick to be denied by the cross bar after Josh Gregory was fouled two minutes into stoppage time.
The second half was made into more of a battle for Latics, but such was their control of the game, they limited Notts County to minimal chances in a solid defensive display.
In turn, Latics' amount of clear cut chances were reduced, but they managed to add to their two-goal lead late on, when Lingard scored a much deserved goal to add to his two assists, driving the ball low into the bottom right from a short corner three minutes into stoppage time.
Speaking after the whistle, coach Will Ryder said:
"The first half was excellent, but Notts County made us battle a bit during the second half.
"We're delighted with the result and performances we've been putting in recently, it's been a brilliant week for the lads to pick up wins in three different competitions.
"It's great to be fighting in all three cup competitions, and also recording good results in the league."
Latics: Evans, Baxendale, Lingard, Gregory, Burke, Stubbs, Burgess (Rimmer 88), Lang, Sang (Randell 90), Barrigan, Merrie (Beaumont 90+2)
Unused Subs: Absalom, Taylor