Five for Will Grigg as Latics beat National League North Chorley 14-0 at Victory Park on Tuesday night.
- Match Report: Chorley 0 – 14 Wigan Athletic.
- Will Grigg hits five after coming on at half-time.
- Trialist Noel Hunt with hat-trick, Ryan Colclough and Luke Burgess get braces and Andy Kellett and James Barrigan also notch.
Burgess 2, 36
Hunt 21, 39, 42
Colclough 34, 45
Grigg 49, 56, 60, 70, 73
Latics were merciless as they emphatically put an inexperienced Chorley side to the sword in the final pre-season match before Saturday’s League One opener against MK Dons.
Five goals from second half substitute Will Grigg – in a little under half an hour in fact - will bring a smile to all Latics fans, while trialist Noel Hunt scored a hat-trick, Ryan Colclough and Luke Burgess scored a brace each, while there was a goalscoring return to action for Andy Kellett and a goal for young striker James Barrigan. There was also a first run-out for Donervon Daniels this calendar year.
It was clearly a mismatch, Chorley fielded a young team, but Latics also played all of their young professionals alongside some more experienced players and make no mistake, Latics were absolutely ruthless.
Chorley’s Harry Pratt had a coujple of early opportunities but this really was one-way traffic and despite under-fire keeper Charlie Withingham having to pick the ball up fourteen times from his net, he also made at least five truly excellent saves, notably to deny Grigg more goals in the second half.
Watching manager Paul Cook will probably have not learned too much, but another 45 minutes from Grigg was a major positive from the evening, plus the return of Kellett and Daniels – along with a general attitude within all his players who had an immense collective desire.
It was absolutely exhibition stuff before the break as Latics smashed in eight goals, playing some brilliant stuff at times, matched by clinical finishing when it mattered.
Burgess was always industrious in the heart of midfield and he turned sharply in the box after just two minutes after being set up by Josh Laurent. The finish was emphatic and a sign of things to come.
Latics were two up after 21 minutes when trialist Hunt was in the right place at the right time to turn in Colclough’s low cross from close range.
Then came six goals in eleven devastating minutes in the build up to hal;f-time. Colclough finished really well inside the box to turn in a great cross from the left by Reece James, then Witthingham wasn’t able to hold onto Burgess shot on the turn after 36 minutes.
Kellett finished emphatically after facing Witthingham one on one on 38 minutes, before Hunt got his second, stooping low to head home Colclough’s right wing cross a minute later. The Irishman then got his hat-trick when he found himself free at the far post to finish from Luke Burke’s cross. Colclough finished the rout on the stroke of half-time when he blasted home a low, angled drive.
Grigg came on at half time and four minutes later was on the score sheet with a typical low drive that nestled into the bottom corner, set up initially by a thunderous defensive header by fellow substitute Donervon Daniels which travelled halfway up the pitch.
Daniels had replaced Craig Morgan for his first taste of action since late last year and he will have been glad of the run out.
Grigg completed a fifteen minute hat-trick with two sharp finishes before Barrigan added an 11th goal shortly after coming on to replace Kellett – a great finish low into the far corner in the 63rd minute.
Grigg scored another two goals in the 70th and 73rd, a good crisp left footed finish and a tap in after Wittingham had brilliantly prevented Rob Moore from turning into his own net.
With 20 minutes to go, Latics were STILL being urged on by the coaching staff and Burgess had two great efforts to add to his and the team’s tally. Firstly he smashed a shot inches over after Laurent had set him up on the edge of the box, then he brilliantly found space to shoot from just inside the box – his hat-trick agonisingly denied when his shot cannoned back off Withingham’s upright.
Conor Smith did force second half substitute Owen Evans into a sharp save in a late attack, and the clean sheet was preserved by the young Welshman.
Latics: Lavercombe (Evans, 46); Burke (Daniels 46), Morgan (Stubbs, 46), Thomas, James; Laurent, Merrie, Burgess; Colclough (Barrigan 60), Kellett (Gregory, 60) Hunt (trialist) (Grigg 46).
Chorley Squad: Witthingham, Palmer, Gaskell, Bullock, Green, Moore, Smith, Farnworth, Pratt, Hinds, Konde.
Subs: Dar, Nguethe, Darcy, Cotter, Smith, Preece, Forshaw