Jolley and Crankshaw grab hat-tricks as Latics leapfrog Rotherham United to the top of the Central League with one game to go.
- Academy Report: Latics 9 Rotherham United 0.
- Latics one point above the Millers at the top of the Central League with one game to play.
- Jolley and Crankshaw grabbed hat-tricks, Burgess scored twice and Gelhardt hit the target.
WIGAN ATHLETIC 9
Burgess 6, 78
Crankshaw 32, 74, 83
Jolley 40, 46, 57
ROTHERHAM UNITED 0
Latics were on cloud nine on Tuesday afternoon, not just with their goal tally, but also with their league position, as the 9-0 victory saw Nick Chadwick's side leapfrog their visitors Rotherham United to the top of the Central League with one game to play.
Hat-tricks for Olly Crankshaw and Charlie Jolley, a brace for Luke Burgess and one for Joe Gelhardt saw Latics thrash a young Rotherham side, but Latics too boasted members of their Under 18 team, six of which started the game.
In truth, it could have been a score line well into double figures, but Latics just missed out.
Latics took the lead within the opening six minutes with Burgess' first of the game, a fine low finish across the keeper and into the bottom right corner from Alex Perry's inside pass.
Crankshaw doubled his side's lead with his first of three goals in the 32nd minute, volleying home with his left foot from the edge of the Rotherham area.
Seven minutes later, England U17 international Gelhardt joined the party, confusing defenders with his footwork, before swipe his left footed shot across the keeper from a tight angle to find the left corner of the goal.
A minute later, Gelhardt turned provider, sending a defence-splitting pass through the Rotherham back line to find Jolley for his first goal of the game, a fine one-v-one finish.
Latics were straight back amongst the goals after the break, Jolley adding his second of the game after latching onto the end of Burgess' superb through ball.
Rotherham were hit for six by the 57th minute when Jolley completed his hat-trick with the goal of the game. Burgess' spin in midfield saw him ride two challenges before finding Gelhardt in-field. The forward's floated pass bounced in front of Crankshaw, who headed powerfully over the last defender to find Jolley for the one-v-one finish.
Crankshaw scored his second for 7-0. Burgess was provider once again, slipping the ball through for the winger who darted inside before lashing the ball into the left corner.
After playing creator for two of the second half goals, Burgess was back on the score sheet again, blasting a left footed effort in for 8-0 after collecting Jensen Weir's pass on the left side.
The final and ninth goal of the game came seven minutes from time, with Crankshaw the second to score a hat-trick on the afternoon, once again cutting inside before releasing a powerful effort to beat the Rotherham keeper.
Latics travel to Morecambe FC next Tuesday knowing that if they equal Rotherham's result in their final game against Doncaster Rovers, they'll be crowned Central League champions.
Latics: Evans, Maffeo, L.Robinson, Obi, Long (Finley 67), Merrie (Capt) (Smith 76), Crankshaw, Perry (Weir 76), Jolley (Berry 67), Gelhardt (Joseph 67), Burgess