Wigan delivered what was probably their worst home performance of the season so far , a performance which ensured that they were deservedly beaten by rock bottom Barnsley whose pace creativity and will to win was too much for the Wigan side.
Wigan made four changes from the nil all draw at Southend last week but with the exceptions of Kellett and Hendry it was still a starting lineup largely populated with first team regulars
The game was played in poor conditions with a swirling wind and heavy rain affecting the quality on show. Barnsley immediately settled into a rhythm with Hammill and Toney looking dangerous everytime they got the ball and Barnsley used their pace to stretch the Wigan back line who with the inexperienced Hendry and Kellett in their ranks looked shaky at best.
Barnsley had the first real chance of the game when Pearson forced Jaaskelainen to make a smart save low down followed by a powerful header from Toney which looped over the goal.
Barnsley took the lead shortly before half time when Hammill slipped by Hendry on the left and his curling shot arced round into the far corner of the net with Jaasekelainen well beaten.
For Wigan chances were few and far between with only Power playing anywhere near at his best and it was just before half time before Wigan had a shot when Jacobs fired well wide of the goal.
Wigan fans have been used to better quality from their favourites this season and this was evidenced by the chorus of boos echoing around the stadium as the teams trooped off.
Wigan manager Gary Caldwell showed his intent, removing James at half time and introducing dangerman Wildschut. Within two minutes the move brought fruit, as the big Dutchman broke down the left and just when it seemed the ball would run out for a goal kick a sharp cross flew into the six yards box where it was nudged over the line by Grigg under pressure from the Barnsley defence.
Latics nearly made it two when a shot was cleared off the line but Barnsley quickly switched up a gear and when Jaaskelainen saved well from Hourihane, the rebound found Toney who had the simple task of heading unchallenged into the goal and Barnsley had a deserved lead.
Hammill was a constant threat throughout the game and really should have put the result out of reach when through on goal but he shot wide to the frustration of the noisy away following.
Barnsley constantly threatened but it was Wigan who scored when Davies fired a shot over and Grigg reprised his role for the first goal firing the ball home from close range.
The game continued to create chances with Toney firing narrowly wide after doing the hard work and Wildschut breaking down the left but passing behind Davies when the big striker was unmarked.
The game then played out to a stalemate with the resultant penalty shootout looming in front of an empty South Stand.
In the penalty shoot out, Power scored the first for Wigan but with Davies and Perkins serving up pathetic efforts, Barnsley converted all of their four to deservedly go through to the Northern final
Team Line up and Player Ratings
Jaaskelienen….5, some hair raising moments
James…………..4, contributed little, withdrawn
Pearce………….5, best of the defenders.
Barnett………….4, endured a torrid afternoon
Hendry…………4, lacked confidence and application
Kellett…………..5, tried to get the team going forwards.
Power…………..6, best of a very bad bunch
Perkins………..5, not his finest hour
Jacobs………..4, didn’t look fit, withdrawn
Grigg…………..6, took his goals well
Revell…………4, offered little, withdrawn
Wildschut……….5, created the first goal then vanished from sight
Davies……………5, created the 2nd goal, awful penalty miss
Flores……………..5 took his penalty well
Entertainment Rating ……. 5/10 a poor game in and conditions, best team won
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