Callum Lang treble wins the EFL Central League Cup for Latics!
- Wigan Athletic beat Fleetwood Town in the Central League Cup Final.
- Latics come from behind to win match.
- Callum Lang with second half hat-trick.
- Elliott Osborne with first minute penalty for Fleetwood Town.
WIGAN ATHLETIC 3
Lang 49, 70, 90
FLEETWOOD TOWN 1
Osborne (pen) 1
What a week it’s been for 18 year-old Latics striker Callum Lang, who celebrated yesterday’s announcement that he had been offered professional terms by scoring a tremendous second half hat-trick as Latics came from behind to clinch the EFL Central League Cup in a dramatic match at Robin Park Arena.
Lang showed a mixture of tenacity, poise and quality to put the finishing touches to an overall performance from Latics which saw them recover from a shaky start to eventually overpower their opponents and bring a much-needed smile to the club.
Although Lang grabbed the headlines – and rightfully so after the way he took his goals – there was some great performances in a game that at times turned physical but Latics probably always had the edge in terms of quality.
In a dramatic start to the game, the visitors took the lead in a bizarre incident in which Theo Roberts brought down Ashley Nadesan in the area after he had intercepted Adam Anson’s back-pass with just seconds on the clock. Roberts escaped with just a yellow card after the referee initially appeared to show a red and Elliott Osborne stepped up scored low to Roberts’ right with a sweetly struck penalty.
Town could have quickly increased their advantage, firstly through Dan Mooney who failed to connect properly with Alex Reid’s flick on after five minutes, then when Michael Donohue shot over the bar after 11 minutes.
It took Latics 20 minutes to mount a meaningful attack, when Luke Burgess floated in a delightful cross from the right side and Arnie Baxendale volleyed just over the bar from near the penalty spot.
Fleetwood twice went close again, firstly after 24 minutes when Roberts had to tip a swirling corner from his namesake Oliver Roberts onto his bar, then, five minutes later, he did brilliantly to stop a Luke Burke clearance that deflected off Reid goalwards as the two chased a long ball into the area.
Latics should have gone in at the break at least level after three great chances just before half-time.
Firstly, Liam Langford picked up the ball in midfield on 41 minutes and a superb run and shot down the left channel saw Billy Crelin beat away his shot for a corner. Josh Gregory swung it in and the unmarked Sam Stubbs made a great connection at the far post but his header was just off target.
Then came the best chance of the three, on 43 minutes, Lang found space to cross from the right but Sam Cosgrove, unmarked, couldn’t make a clean connection and the ball was cleared.
Lang scored his first after 49th minutes, picking up the ball on the edge of the box and working the space to shoot from 20 yards, the ball taking a bobble to deceive Crelin.
Latics had two quick opportunities to extend their lead shortly afterwards. Firstly, on 53 minutes, when Cosgrove’s free-kick on the edge of the box rebounded to him and his second effort was cleverly flicked on by Burgess for Gregory to head from close range, but Crelin reacted well to catch the ball. A minute later, Baxendale drove powerfully down the right-hand channel and his angled drive went just wide of Crelin’s far post.
Roberts’ speculative effort from distance struck the crossbar after 66 minutes as Fleetwood went close but in truth, it was a rare attack.
Lang scored his second from close range in the 70th minute, sweeping home after confusion in the Town defence and he pounced in a tight space to score a real opportunistic finish.
Roberts was forced into making a tremendous save after 83 minutes, standing tall to deflect Reid’s effort after the Town skipper had broken clear on the right.
Dominic Kerrigan escaped with a yellow card in the 88th minute with a two-footed lunge that left James Barrigan in agony for several minutes before being carried off.
Then, deep into injury time, Gregory broke down the right-hand side, crossed for Lang who scooped the ball home from close range to claim his hat-trick.
Wigan Athletic: Roberts, Burke, Langford, Gregory, Stubbs, Anson, Burgess (Boyd 66), Baxendale, Barrigan (Randell, 88), Cosgrove, Lang.
Subs not used: Evans, Lingard, Hilton
Fleetwood Town: Crelin, Kerrigan, Holgate, Sheron, Roberts, Donohue (Garner 44), Osborne, Nadesan, Mooney, Reid, Wallace.
Subs not used: Turner, Dodd, Collings, Unsworth