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REPORT: JAMES AND McNAUGHTON FEATURE IN 2-0 FRIENDLY WIN

16 February 2016

Davies and Vuckic on target as McNaughton and James feature.

  • Reece James and Kevin McNaughton continue recoveries in friendly win.
  • Craig Davies and Haris Vuckic on target against Burnley.
  • Nicholls, Barnett, Flores, Chow and Hendry also feature.

WIGAN ATHLETIC 2
Davies 25
Vuckic 48

BURNLEY 0

Reece James and Kevin McNaughton stepped up their recoveries from injury at Christopher Park this afternoon, as Craig Davies and Haris Vuckic both hit the target in Latics' 2-0 victory over Burnley in a behind closed doors Development Squad friendly.

Davies' glancing header gave Latics the lead inside 25 minutes from a Vuckic free kick, before provider turned goal scorer when the Slovenian forward picked up on a loose ball just minutes into the second half, before lifted the ball delicately over goalkeeper Danijel Nizic.

James played his first minutes since picking up an ankle injury in Latics' 3-1 victory over Chesterfield, whilst McNaughton featured for the second time on his recovery from a long term hamstring injury, with both playing around an hour against the Clarets.

A number of other first team squad members also featured in a commanding display, including Leon Barnett, Lee Nicholls, Tim Chow, Jordan Flores and Jack Hendry.

Davies, who opened the scoring, provided the first chance of the game when his forceful effort was well held down the left side of the box, before Vuckic also had an effort saved as he aimed for the bottom right corner from Flores' cross.

Matty Hamilton had a shot deflected over the cross bar in the 21st minute, before a free kick wide right provided the inspiration for Latics' opening goal.

Vuckic delivered a left-footed in-swinger, with Davies rising highest to connect with a glancing header to find the bottom right corner of Nizic's goal.

Shortly after the interval Vuckic was in the thick of the action again, this time on the score sheet as he picked up on a loose ball in Burnley's half to race through on goal, before lifting the ball over the on-rushing goalkeeper.

In the first of Latics' changes James was replaced by Alex Lingard in the 58th minute, before Davies and Vuckic made way for Louis Robles and Sam Cosgrove shortly after the hour mark.  Arnie Baxendale was also introduced to replace McNaughton, with the full back featuring for 70 minutes.

Latics continued to look lively with the switch up top, and Cosgrove can count himself unlucky not to have made the score sheet, with two opportunities in the space of two minutes.

His strength in the area saw him out-muscle Burnley's defenders to latch onto a slipped pass down the right side, before his powerful effort was turned wide by a last-ditch block.

The striker's luck was really out from the resulting corner, as he rose to head Flores' delivery but was denied on the line, a close call with claims from Cosgrove and his team mates that the ball had crossed the line.

Adam Anson's recovery ensured a deserved clean sheet when he cleared Daniel Agyei's effort off the line with 10 minutes remaining.  Agyei raced through on goal with Anson chasing, slotted the ball past Nicholls, but was met with Anson's outstretched leg to deny a clear goal.

Latics made one late change, with Under 18 midfielder Remell Fitton on in place of Hamilton.

Latics: Nicholls, McNaughton (Baxendale 70), James (Lingard 58), Anson, Barnett, Hendry, Flores, Chow, Davies (Robles 61), Hamilton (Fitton 84), Vuckic (Cosgrove 61)


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