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Match Reports

Latics 0-6 Wigan Athletic

4 January 2022

© Eddie Garvey

Latics finally exit the Papa John’s Trophy as Sky Bet League One outfit, Wigan Athletic confidently defeat Selim Benachour’s side in the Last 16 of the competition.

The Tics found themselves ahead in the 28th minute as Tom Naylor steered his glancing header into the near post before Will Keane added a second with a header of his own from a corner-kick.

Max Power, influential throughout the match, made it three as he thundered a free-kick into the left stanchion and reeled away with an astonished facial expression during his celebration after a world-class goal.

The visitors found another early in the second-half as Gavin Massey rifled past the man between the sticks, and then, Gwion Edwards netted a brace to cement their place in the next round.

After Latics’ determined victory against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light in the previous round, the Interim Head Coach opted for a host of changes to his starting line-up in a local affair with Trey Turner named on the teamsheet for his professional debut.

A stern and eye-catching team, the visitors began the encounter on the front foot with an intent to open the scoring in the freezing cold conditions. Callum Lang found himself in a promising position in the final third and, assuredly, teased Sam Hart on the right-hand side before picking out the onrushing Tendayi Darkiwa, however, the skipper’s attempt hit the post.

Lang, an iconic figure amongst the Latics faithful, reinforced his undoubted abundance of ability and talent on the turf of Boundary Park, once again, as he dribbled past several defenders inside the area, but his low drilled effort went across the face of goal.

Leam Richardson’s men found the breakthrough in the 28th minute through an unlikely source. Power’s precise delivery from a free-kick reached Naylor and the defensive-midfielder glanced his header inside the near post.

Following that, Tom Pearce made an instinctive over-lapping run down the left-flank before firing a low cross into the feet of Keane, but Danny Rogers blocked his flicked effort from inside the six-yard box to the frustration of the frontman.

They kept their foot firmly on the gas which led to the Tics doubling their advantage in Greater Manchester. Once again, Power expertly unleashed a corner-kick towards Keane and the former Manchester United player managed to steer his header into the far corner to dampen the mood in the terraces.

Just two minutes later, Power got his name on the scoresheet in a remarkable fashion as he literally hit a free-kick with ‘Max Power’ from 30-yards straight into the top corner which left the Latics ‘keeper with no chance of denying him.

After the restart, the Tics added a fourth to their tally as they resumed their dominance in the fixture. Massey received possession on the edge of the area following neat play from Lang and Power, and the wideman’s low strike found its way past Rogers.

Born in Oldham, Stephen Humphrys forced Rogers into a smart stop after being introduced from the bench, and from the rebound inside the six-yard box, Edwards fired into an empty net to stamp his authority on the match in the 64th minute.

Edwards got himself a brace just a few minutes later as he coolly controlled a long ball inside the area before curling past the goalkeeper from a tight angle in front of the travelling away support.

Wigan remained composed, resolute and disciplined until the final whistle to prevent the hosts from salvaging a conciliation in the game to make it back-to-back wins on the road against Latics for themselves.

Oldham Athletic XI – Rogers (GK), Hart, Cisse (Bowden 53’), McGahey, Adams ©, Bahamboula (Hope 81’), Hopcutt (Fage 53’), Luamba (Keillor-Dunn 53’), Couto, Vaughan, Turner.

Unused Subs: Leutwiler (GK), Kilner, Atkinson.

Wigan Athletic XI – Amos (GK), Darikwa ©, Whatmough (Kerr 78’), Tilt, Pearce (Robinson 69’), Naylor, Power, Massey (Aasgaard 69’), Keane (Humphrys 61’), Edwards, Lang (Jones 61’).

Unused Subs: Jones (GK), Watts.

Goals: Naylor 28', Keane 34', Power 36', Massey 47', Edwards 61', 68'

Attendance: 1,831 (731 away)

Referee – Ross Joyce

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