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Club News


25 March 2016

Latics close the gap on top spot after sensational display at Swindon.

  • Latics clinical in 4-1 away win at Swindon Town.
  • Grigg double, Power stunner and a first for Morsy.
  • Three goals in four second half minutes highlights superb performance.
  • Latics move to within three points of leaders Burton Albion.

Ajose 79

Grigg 15, 50
Power 47
Morsy 51

Three stunning goals in a four minute spell at the start of the second half added to Will Grigg's 15th minute opener to provide 1,309 travelling Latics supporters with a superb start to the Easter weekend, moving to within just three points of Sky Bet League One leaders Burton Albion thanks to the 4-1 victory at Swindon Town, live on Sky Sports.

After a delayed journey down to the County Ground, the majority of Latics' support were still filtering into the ground after kick off, but they didn't have to wait long to be cheered up when Grigg hammered in the opening goal from close range.

Further chances were created throughout the first 45 minutes, but it was the opening six minutes of the second period which highlighted Latics' sensational display, as Max Power rocketed his effort into the top right corner to double the lead, before Grigg added his second three minutes later, followed up by Sam Morsy's first for the club made it 4-0.

The division's leading goal scorer Nicky Ajose did pull one back for the hosts, but when Nathan Thompson was given his marching orders for a lunge on the returning Chris McCann, the remaining five minutes were merely a formality.

McCann was the only change for Latics from the 1-0 victory over Bradford City last weekend as he came in for Ryan Colclough, with the 28-year-old one of many contenders for the evening's Man of the Match award.

Latics' slick passing style and seemingly endless energy was present from the off, and within the opening seven minutes Power had already tested Tyrell Belford in the Swindon goal, his well struck free kick tipped over the bar by the stopper.

Despite a surge forwards and narrow miss from Swindon skipper Thompson, Latics impressed the most in the opening exchanges, feeding the ball into good wide positions on both flanks, with McCann, Reece Wabara and Yanic Wildschut providing testing deliveries.

It didn't take much longer for the aforementioned wide play to pay off, with McCann timing his run to perfection in behind the Swindon defence, feeding the ball into the area for the predatory instincts of Grigg who thumped home from close range for 1-0.

Two more flashed deliveries warned Swindon of Latics' threats, with Wabara and McCann testing the rearguard from either wing, before Grigg and Wildschut's physical presence almost had them in on goal down the left.

You could sense Latics' authority building towards the end of the first half, and despite a narrow miss from captain Craig Morgan in the final moments, Gary Caldwell's side had to settle for 1-0 at the break.

It took just two minutes of the second half for that authority to pay off, and it did so in style.

Constant pressure on Swindon's defence and forced errors was a theme of opening stages of the second half, the first attempt at which opened the ball up for Power to strike one of the sweetest shots you're likely to see this season, hammering his right footed effort from the left edge of the area into the top right corner to double Latics' lead on 47 minutes.

If that wasn't enough for the euphoric Latics following, Grigg grabbed his second three minutes later, again pressure on the Swindon defence allowing Latics in, before the striker's deflected effort across the keeper from the right side bounced into the bottom left corner for 3-0 and his 20th goal in all competitions this season.

With barely enough time for Swindon to set back up and for Latics' fans to retake to their seats, Morsy was in on the act to make it 4-0 with his first goal for the club crowning off an incredible four minute spell.

That same pressure which allowed Power and Grigg to make it 3-0 allowed Latics to work the ball into space for Morsy on the edge of the box, who fizzed a right footed drive into the bottom left corner.

Barely 10 minutes had been played when Donervon Daniels almost made it 5-0 after tricky wide play from David Perkins resulted in a fierce delivery across the face of goal, with a crucial Swindon touch taking the ball away from the big defender.

Shortly after the hour mark a fifth was almost claimed again, and what would have been a hat-trick for Grigg after he out-muscled Jordan Turnbull to get in behind Swindon, only for his strike across the keeper to bobble past the left post.

The first of three standing ovations came midway through the half when Power was replaced by Tim Chow, similar rapturous thanks given to Wildschut and Grigg who were later replaced by Craig Davies and Haris Vuckic.

Despite a largely inactive evening for Jussi Jaaskelainen, the experienced Finnish goalkeeper remained focused, pulling off an excellent save to deny a dangerous Ajose free kick, before Latics sprang into action once more at the other end.

This time it was Wildschut in down the middle after a perfectly timed flick on from Grigg, but Belford's chested save denied the Dutchman his best opportunity to get on the score sheet.

With just over 10 minutes to play Ajose netted Swindon's consolation with a typically cool finish from League One's leading goal scorer after he escaped down the left side to slide the ball across Jaaskelainen and into the bottom right corner.

Any glimmer of a Swindon fight back was wiped out five minutes from time when Thompson's poor touch led him into a lunging challenge on McCann, one which the referee deemed enough to give the Swindon captain his marching orders.

Latics' work rate and quality on the ball continued into the depths of the game, further proof of the togetherness created within the dressing room and the high levels set by Caldwell and his staff.

Four minutes of added time played out to perfection were met by the utmost appreciation from Latics' travelling supporters, who could put their feet up on the long journey back to Wigan knowing their team sat just three points from the summit of League One.

Swindon: Belford, Sendles-White (Traore 53), Thompson N (C), Turnbull, Barry, Rodgers (Brophy 53), Doughty, Thompson L, Ormonde-Ottewill, Hylton (Robert 72), Ajose
Unused Subs: Henry, Branco, Iandolo, Cooke

Latics: Jaaskelainen, Perkins, Daniels, Power (Chow 64), McCann, Morsy, Grigg (Vuckic 75), Morgan (Capt), Warnock, Wildschut (Davies 71), Wabara
Unused Subs: Nicholls, Kellett, Barnett, Colclough

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