Jacobs makes return as Vuckic hat-trick helps Latics to dominant victory.
- Jacobs makes goal scoring return from injury in 8-1 thrashing of Burton Albion.
- Latics helped along the way by Haris Vuckic's first half hat-trick.
- Chow, Hamilton, Davies (pen) and Cosgrove all on target in the first half.
WIGAN ATHLETIC 8
Vuckic 5, 11, 38
Davies 25 (pen)
BURTON ALBION 1
Shelton 50 (pen)
Latics made an emphatic return to winning ways in the Final Third Development League at Christopher Park this afternoon, thrashing a young Burton Albion side 8-1 thanks to a hat-trick from Haris Vuckic and a stunning strike from the returning Michael Jacobs, along with goals for Tim Chow, Matty Hamilton, a Craig Davies penalty and Sam Cosgrove.
The first half ended 8-0, with six of the goals coming inside of the first 25 minutes to show Latics' dominance, in a game which saw Jacobs step up his recovery from an injury picked up against Crewe Alexandra in January.
Latics couldn't add to their tally in the second half despite a number of excellent opportunities in the second 45, with the visitors claiming a consolation five minutes into the second half through a Mark Shelton penalty.
Jacobs was one of seven first team squad members involved in the victory, alongside Vuckic, Davies, Chow, Andy Kellett, Leon Barnett and Lee Nicholls, who helped to assert Latics' dominance in the first half.
Latics made light work of opening the scoring when Jacobs drove at the right full back before whipping a low ball into the box for Vuckic to finish at the right post. 1-0.
A second shortly followed, this time through Jacobs himself, who showed a touch of class to bring down Luke Burke's cross field pass, before rifling his right footed effort into the bottom left corner from 25 yards.
Not to be outdone, Vuckic then grabbed his second in style, cutting in from the right side before bending his left footed effort into the bottom left corner for 3-0, with just 11 minutes on the clock.
Latics' fourth came inside the opening 20, this time a flowing move which saw Davies hold up play inside the area, before a flick to Hamilton allowed the midfielder to find Chow to his right in the centre of the box for a composed finish.
Three minutes later and Latics were 5-0 up, Chow and Hamilton combining again, but switching roles as Chow diverted Jacobs' cross from the left into the path of Hamilton to finish from close range. Another well worked move topped off with a fine finish as the game was pushed well beyond Burton's reach.
Inside the 25th minute things got even better for Latics when Davies barged his way into the area down the right and was sent tumbling by a trip. The striker brushed himself down and firmly slotted his spot kick into the bottom left corner. 6-0.
It could have been seven two minutes later when a flick off the back of Chow's back heel saw Vuckic convert for what would have been his hat-trick, but an unfortunate offside flag denied him.
Davies continued to run the defence ragged, and shortly after the half an hour mark his claims for a penalty were heard again after another trip, but this time it was judged to be outside the area.
The resulting free kick was Jacobs' final act of the game, with the forward whipping the set piece narrowly wide of the left post, before being replaced by Cosgrove.
Disappointed to see his earlier goal ruled offside, Vuckic completed his hat-trick inside 38 minutes, this time latching onto the end of a 50-yard diagonal pass from Barnett to hammer home down the right hand side of the area.
The rout was complete two minutes before half time at the end of another flowing move. Alex Lingard's striding run down the left side resulted in a testing cross, with Davies flicking the ball into the middle for Cosgrove to coolly finish off. 43 minutes gone and 8-0.
Latics made three changes at the break, with Vuckic, Chow and Lingard replaced, as James Barrigan and trialists Josh Dobie and Jordan Wilson were introduced.
The appetite for goals didn't disappear in the second half, but Burton held firm to deny Latics any more glory.
Burke came close to Latics' ninth just three minutes after the restart, cutting in from the right to lash his effort just wide of the post, before Kellett's delicate chip had Cosgrove in on goal down the right, with the striker pulling the ball back for Wilson who cracked the outside of the right post with a little helping hand from Burton keeper Charlie Hornby.
Moments later Burton got their consolation, after a foul by Barrigan inside the right edge of the area resulted in a penalty, one which was squeezed into the bottom right corner by Shelton, despite Nicholls getting a hand to it.
Latics' opportunities continued to mount before the hour mark, with Cosgrove denied from a tight angle, then faced with a finger tip save from Hornby, before the Burton stopper also held onto a Barrigan effort from distance.
A final change was made shortly after, with Kellett replaced by a third trialist Josh Williams, creating a defensive re-shuffle to allow him to join the centre of the back line.
Davies remained a threat at the other end, striking a good opportunity over the top right corner and one just wide of the left upright, before Hamilton was denied by Hornby and Barrigan had another low shot held.
Little happened during a 10 minute spell, with play slowed down significantly by a prolonged deluge of hailstone.
Before the game was out, Wilson worked another chance to add that elusive ninth goal, but despite beating his man, the striker could only drive the ball across the face of goal and wide of the left post.
Although naturally delighted with a victory of such a large margin, Latics will also be pleased with their league progress from the three points, moving up into fourth place and remaining six points behind leaders Walsall, with two games in hand over the Saddlers.
Latics: Nicholls, Burke, Lingard (Barrigan 46), Chow (Dobie 46), Anson, Barnett, Kellett (Williams 59), Hamilton, Davies, Jacobs (Cosgrove 32), Vuckic (Wilson 46)