Confident Latics brush Clarets aside in professional display.
- Latics dominate in 4-0 victory over Burnley.
- Barrigan make it eight goals in nine games with first half double
- Young side with just three second years scholars.
- Back-to-back clean sheets show defensive steel.
WIGAN ATHLETIC 4
Barrigan 19, 31
Latics made it back-to-back victories and clean sheet this weekend, as a dominant first half and professional second half display earned them a 4-0 win at home to Burnley, thanks to a James Barrigan double, and goals from Matty Rimmer and Chris Merrie.
A young side, with only three second year scholars, exploited the gaps in Burnley's defence and took their chances in the first half, playing attractive and effective football, before their professional attitude in the second half ensured that Kelland Absalom and his defenders earned their clean sheet.
The victory was much needed in Latics' return to the Youth Alliance after two defeats in the competition at home to Accrington Stanley and Fleetwood Town in September.
Latics flew out of the blocks to give themselves an early lead, with Matty Taylor sending Chris Sang down the left side, before the ball popped up for Rimmer to strike left footed from 25 yards, the ball taking a slight deflection towards the top left corner, which proved too tricky for the keeper to handle.
Leading goal scorer Barrigan then doubled Latics' lead with the goal of the game, a beautifully weighted, side footed finish from 25 yards to beat the Burnley goalkeeper in his top right hand corner.
Taylor worked hard to win the ball back at the start of the moved, before Merrie sent Nathan Randell scampering down the left wing, his cut back for Barrigan at distance was well timed, allowing the forward to grab his seventh of the season in style.
Barrigan had his second of the game and eighth of the campaign just after the half an hour mark, this time the strike wasn't quite as sweet, as his left footed shot found the bottom right corner via a deflection to wrong foot the keeper to make it 3-0.
A fourth soon followed, with goal scorer Merrie starting the move by breaking down a Burnley attack in his own half. The midfielder's tackle allowed Barrigan to drive from inside his own half, he then found Sang wide left, with the forward cutting the ball back to the edge of the area for Merrie, who drove the ball low into the bottom right corner with his second touch.
Latics' organised defensive display in the second half took many plaudits, and after the game Head of Academy, Gregor Rioch, summed up their efforts.
"Every aspect of our performance was professional and exactly what we asked for from the lads.
"We had a very young side out, with just three second years, but we played with purpose and a lot of grit and determination to score four goals, and equally as importantly earn our second clean sheet in a row.
"We were patient all over the pitch, and the way we pass the ball matches Gary Caldwell and the club's philosophy, it was very impressive.
"Baz (James Barrigan) deserves a special mention, not just because he's been scoring goals on a regular basis, but because he's enjoying his football at a high standard. He's listening to what we say and learning a lot, especially after being sent off earlier in the season."
Latics: Absalom, Beaumont (Golden 78), Taylor, Merrie (Gregory 62), Stubbs, Forecast, Lang (Cotter 70), Barrigan, Sang, Randell, Rimmer