Latics edged out at Fleetwood in cup opener.
- Fleetwood come out on top 2-0 as Latics drop to group stage defeat.
- Central League Cup campaign begins with away loss, despite string of impressive saves from Theo Roberts.
- Alex Jakubiak and Nick Haughton on target for the hosts.
FLEETWOOD TOWN 2
WIGAN ATHLETIC 0
Latics' opened their Central League Cup group stage campaign with defeat, falling 2-0 at Fleetwood Town's Poolfoot Farm despite a relatively even contest.
Under 18 goalkeeper Theo Roberts made a string of impressive saves stretching out over both halves, but was powerless to resist Alex Jakubiak and Nick Haughton, who combined twice to allow the former to open the scoring inside a minute of the second half, with the latter doubling Fleetwood's lead not long after.
Latics pushed to grab themselves a foothold back into the game in terms of the score line, with late opportunities from Josh Gregory, Luke Burke and substitute Danny O'Brien denied by Alex Cairns.
Transfer deadline day signing Kaiyne Woolery featured for 90 minutes but was unable to break the hosts down despite some exciting wide play.
Latics were tested in the opening stages, with the aforementioned Roberts pulling off the first two of his collection of saves during a stifling afternoon on the coast.
Dion Charles had two bites at an opener inside just six minutes, but Roberts stood strong, denying with his hands, before blocking the follow up with his feet.
Latics began to express themselves more in wide areas through Woolery on the right and Alex Lingard down the left, but were unable to find that killer pass.
Fleetwood thought they'd found it themselves moments before the interval, but Roberts was strong again, this time denying Jack Sowerby's close range attempt.
Unfortunately for Roberts he couldn't replicate that a minute into the second half, eventually being beaten when Jakubiak control the keeper's parry away from Haughton's cross for a simple finish.
Latics came close to pulling level a minute before they fell 2-0 behind when their trialist drove forwards, but fired his effort across goal and narrowly wide.
Then came the second blow for the visitors, Jakubiak this time the provider for Haughton, teeing him up from the left side for a well-timed finish in the centre.
It could have been three within minutes of the restart, but again Roberts was quick to deny, this time saving Jakubiak's effort from Michael Duckworth's cross.
Latics began to stamp some authority on the game though, Arnie Baxendale and James Barrigan almost combining to pull one back through a fast-paced counter attack, before O'Brien was introduced to try and cause Fleetwood more problems.
It almost worked for Latics, first when Luke Burke's effort from distance was deflected wide, and then through O'Brien who also took on an opportunity from range, whipping it narrowly past the left post.
Back at the other end Roberts produced the save of the match to deny Fleetwood substitute Keano Deacon, stretching out a strong left hand turn push the forward's goal-bound effort wide of his left post.
Latics continued to push, but Gregory was denied by Cairns, before the keeper pulled off another save to deny O'Brien. Latics' substitute reacted well to block a clearance, but Cairns made himself big to save his team from any further embarrassment following the poor attempt to clear his lines.
Roberts had one more save in him, once again denying Deacon, this time with his feet, before Burke's effort brought the game to close when he shot over from 20 yards.
Further group stage games against Morecambe and Port Vale await Latics in the coming months.
Fleetwood: Cairns, Duckworth, Wallace, Bolger, Davis, Glandon, Sowerby, Woolford, Jakubiak, Haughton, Charles
Subs: Wright, Dunbar, Roberts, Deacon, Urwin
Latics: Roberts, Trialist (Stubbs 61), Lingard, Gregory (Capt), Burke, Anson, Baxendale (Powell 82), Boyd, Cosgrove (O'Brien 61), Woolery, Barrigan
Unused subs: Perrin, Taylor