Jordan Bove continued his impressive scoring record by netting a hat-trick in Latics' 4-1 victory over Carlisle youth team to take his tally to 22 goals for the season.
The striker, who has impressed for the youth team this season, rounded off the scoring after John Pritchard had given the youngsters the lead early in the game. The result means they stay in second place, behind leaders Blackpool.
The home side got off to the best possible start as Pritchard opened the scoring with a superb free kick. The midfielder curled the ball around the wall and into the bottom corner to score his sixth goal of the season.
With the game becoming very open, Athletic goalkeeper Joel Coleman had to be alert while the side defended resolutely as Carlisle started to get a grip on the game.
Latics hit the visitors on the counter attack however and doubled their lead through Bove's first of the game. George Edmondson played a superb ball through to the striker who smashed it in off the post to give Athletic a two goal advantage.
Carlisle kept pressing though and they were rewarded with an equaliser five minutes before the break through a strike of luck. Coleman came out to punch a free kick but inadvertently punched the ball against the defender and a Carlisle striker had a simple tap in to reduce the arrears.
Half time probably came at the right time for the youngsters as it allowed manager Tony Philliskirk to reassess and change a few things.
Those changes worked for Latics on the hour mark as Bove restored the two goal advantage after great work from Danny Byrnes. The youngster picked the ball up on the wing, cut inside his defender and smashed the ball across the face of goal for Bove to easily tap home from close range.
Five minutes later and the game was safe as Latics made it four. Carlisle's full back was dispossessed by Jack Tuohy and the winger picked out Bove to seal his hat-trick and kill the game off.
Speaking about the performance, Philliskirk said: "We always looked a threat. It was a very good advert for youth football. The lads are doing ever so well at the moment. We've got a great team spirit at the moment and we're chasing Blackpool who are top of the league so it's exciting.
"Whatever happens, the boys have had a great season. To put themselves with a chance of winning the league and a cup final, it's a testament to how hard they have worked."