Latics work hard to brush aside Carlisle test.
- Latics triumph 4-2 over Carlisle United at Robin Park Arena.
- Barrigan, Lang, Donaghey and Sang on target.
- Latics maintain top spot in Youth Alliance on goal difference over Bury.
CARLISLE UNITED 2
Salkeld 43, 50
WIGAN ATHLETIC 4
Barrigan 29 (pen)
Latics kept up their fight for the Youth Alliance title on Saturday morning with hard-fought but well-earned 4-2 victory over Carlisle United at Robin Park Arena, powering through the visitors' comeback to seal the three points, leaving them as leaders on goal difference over local rivals Bury.
An impressive opening 40 minute spell saw Latics take a 2-0 lead thanks to a James Barrigan penalty and a superb header from Callum Lang, but goals either side of half time from Cameron Salkeld pegged Carlisle back into the contest. Latics' superiority eventually shone through, and after creating a multitude of opportunities, Shane Donaghey pushed his side back in front with around 20 minutes to play.
Latics continued to create chances, and again converted after a prolonged spell of pressure with substitute Chris Sang taking his goal well as he fired low into the bottom corner to make it 4-2 in stoppage time.
An early flurry of opportunities set the tone for an exciting game, but Latics' midfielder Donaghey was denied twice in the opening stages, with his low effort from distance and powerful free kick tipped over the Carlisle cross bar by goalkeeper Morgan Bacon.
The opening goal was coming and from the volume of chances created it was about time for Latics who saw Lang denied by the cross bar, before Jordan Wilson slipped on the follow up and Alex Lingard had a second, goal-bound, follow up blocked in the area.
Moments later Latics were given their golden chance after Lang was tumbled in the area by Ellis Pearson, allowing Barrigan to convert confidently from the penalty spot.
Latics doubled their lead shortly before half time after a heavy period of dominance. Donaghey, who impressed throughout, produced a perfect cross from the left for Lang at the back post, who out-jumped the Carlisle defence to power home a wonderful header from an almost impossible angle.
The visitors didn't give up though and two minutes before half time they grabbed themselves a foothold in the contest, but it didn't come without controversy as Lingard appeared to be fouled by goal scorer Salkeld in the build up. The referee waved play on, allowing the Carlisle forward to cut inside on the right, before lashing his effort at the near post, a shot too powerful for Owen Evans to keep out.
Carlisle came out fired up for the second half, and it didn't take them long to equalise when they shocked Latics on the counter attack, allowing Salkeld to race down the right side before slotting the ball across Evans for 2-2.
Latics struggled to get a firm grip on the game for a short period, but when they eventually did, it came with consequences for the visitors from Cumbria.
Donaghey's intelligent, lofted pass over the defence found Barrigan, but the move looked to have faded out after he couldn't bring it under control. Bacon gathered, but in delaying his release of the ball he found himself penalised, receiving a yellow card and conceding an indirect free kick inside his penalty area.
Midfielder Donaghey stepped up, and with a simple roll of the ball to his right by a team mate, he hammered his effort off the edge of the wall and into the bottom corner as Latics regained the lead.
After retaking the lead Latics controlled much of the remainder of the game, and even added assurance to their 3-2 advantage, with substitute Sang beating the Carlisle full back down the right side, before lashing a right footed effort low into the bottom left corner.
Latics: Evans, Plant, Lingard, Donaghey, Stubbs, Baxendale, Lang, Fura (White 65), Wilson (Sang 53), Burgess, Barrigan
Unused Subs: Taylor, Fitton