Wildschut on target as Latics fall to heavy defeat.
- Latics well beaten on the road as Rochdale win 4-1.
- Yanic Wildschut on target, but Niall Canavan and Calvin Andrew extend lead.
- Three changes for Latics as Bogdan, Burke and Hendry came in.
WIGAN ATHLETIC 1
Latics' pre-season campaign hit a bump on Saturday afternoon as quick-fire doubles in each half earned Rochdale a 4-1 victory over Gary Caldwell's side, despite Yanic Wildschut's best efforts to recover a 2-0 half time deficit with his and Latics' first goal of pre-season in the second period.
Reuben Noble-Lazarus and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing took advantage of some free space within five minutes of each other to give Dale a 2-0 advantage, with Latics improving after the break to pull one back through Wildschut, but the damage was done again shortly after when Niall Canavan headed home to restore the two goal advantage and substitute Calvin Andrew dragged in a fourth.
Caldwell made three changes to the side that drew 0-0 at Macclesfield Town on Wednesday evening, with Liverpool loanee Adam Bogdan in for his first start, alongside defenders Jack Hendry and youngster Luke Burke.
Rochdale made Latics battle in the opening exchanges, closing down quickly and making it uncomfortable for Latics in possession, but Burke provided a bright spark inside the opening 10 minutes with an excellent cross for Max Power to head down, with a defensive recovery preventing Wildschut from following in.
Latics were dealt a big blow shortly after when Stephen Warnock took a knock to his calf forcing an early change, with Jordan Flores on as his replacement, initially causing problems for the Dale defence.
A number of blocked crosses from deep positions had given Latics a warning, but one they didn't take on board when Rochdale burst onto the attack in the 26th minute, switching it from Mendez-Laing to Bunney and on again to Noble-Lazarus who lashed his effort across Bogdan and into the bottom right for 1-0.
It didn't take long for the hosts to double their lead, when Dan Burn was dispossessed on the edge of the area, allowing Mendez-Laing to thump his effort into the left side of Bogdan's goal, the keeper left un-sighted.
Latics improved towards the break as Wildschut grew into the game, showing skill to beat two defenders, before barging past a third and forcing Josh Lillis to push his effort into the side-netting.
Will Grigg was introduced as Latics' only half time change to replace Alex Gilbey, and further improvement followed with a shift in personnel up front.
Michael Jacobs and Burke immediately linked up down the right side forcing a corner from the defender's cross, and moments later Latics had it in the back of the net, only for Hendry's header to be ruled out for a push on his marker.
Latics were on the attack again shortly after, Grigg holding the ball up on the half way line before exchanging passes with Wildschut to allow the winger into a crossing position, only for Powell's sliding effort to be deflected behind.
A double change was called for heading into the final 20 minutes, with Ryan Colclough and Sam Morsy replacing Powell and David Perkins.
With the final 10 minutes fast approaching, Latics showed the quality they possessed when Burke sent in the perfect cross from the right side, allowing Wildschut to chest the ball down and slam home the finish from close range.
Caldwell's side finally got their goal, but two minutes later the hosts were back to a two-goal lead, Latics' defending punished as an unmarked Niall Canavan headed home from Donal McDermott's wide free kick.
The score line worsened after just three minutes, Latics not tight enough on substitute Andrew, with the forward dragging a left footed effort into the bottom right corner.
Latics pushed to cut the deficit late on, but Power struck wide and was then denied by Lillis who held onto his powerful free kick, the final moment of the game.
Rochdale: Lillis, Rafferty, McNulty, Canavan, McGahey, Mendez-Laing (McDermott 55), Noble-Lazarus (Rathbone 57), Allen (Capt) (Tanser 60), Cannon (Morley 58), Camps (Hooper 85), Bunney (Andrew 60)
Unused Subs: Thompson (GK)
Latics: Bogdan, Perkins (Morsy 67), Power (Capt), Gilbey, Burn, Jacobs, Warnock (Flores 16), Powell (Colclough 67), Burke, Wildschut, Hendry
Unused Subs: Jaaskelainen, Chow, Gregory, Barrigan