Former loanee Leon Clarke’s two goals last night ultimately cost Wigan victory in an entertaining Capitol One cup match at the DW Stadium.
Wigan made four changes to the side defeated at Coventry, Flores, McNaughton and Odelusi all making their home debuts along with a recall for Barnett replacing cup tied Kenny and Junior and dropped/rested McCann and Daniels. On the bench there were first call ups for development squad members Burke and Anson
Wigan started the game with pace, skill and no little intent with the midfield superbly led by Perkins totally dominating their local rivals
Wigan’s line up of 4-4-1-1 seemed to have more balance with Jacobs and Odelusi receiving support from full backs McNaughton and James as they poured forwards looking for their first goal of the season.
Jacobs in particular was a threat and the Bury defence had to be alert to block his runs . First real chance fell to the midfielder following good work by Flores but the signing from Wolves saw his shot blocked
Wigan continued to pour forward in search of the opening goal but as on Saturday good approach play seemed to fall apart when it reached the edge of the area. Grigg filling the lone forward role showed excellent movement off the ball but received very little in the way of quality ball.
Wigan continued to exert almost total pressure playing fast flowing skilful football with the best chances falling to Flores who broke out of his own half on an amazing run which forced the Bury keeper Walton to tip the ball around the post.
Bury showed little in the way of attacking acumen but amazingly almost took the lead when indecision by Wigan’s central defenders allowed a through ball to reach Clarke who cool slotted the ball through the advancing O’Donnell’s legs. The Wigan keeper’s blushes were spared however when the assistant referee’s flag was spotted raise
Wigan continued to press for the opening goal and created several half chances, the best came from Flores, when he burst from inside his own half and eventually rounded Christian Walton in the six yard box, who recovered to produce an excellent save from close range.
Latics kept up their momentum, and their second chance within a minute followed, when Jacobs narrowly put the ball over the bar with his effort from the left hand edge of the area.
Both teams left the pitch at half time with the scores level with Wigan the happier with their performance but no doubt that their quality play hadn’t been turned into goals.
The second half started off with a bang as directly from the kick off Jacobs went on a superb attacking run beating several defenders, his run only being halted by a challenge from Clarke leaving the referee with no option but to award Wigan a penalty. Grigg whose last penalty was a wild blast over the Dundee bar stepped up and made no mistake this time hitting the ball right down the middle of the goal.
Wigan failed however after this to control the game and Bury gradually came in to the game with Clarke and substitute Pope started to dominate the Wigan central defenders with their physical play. A cross from the left saw Clarke slip away from Barnett and head the ball unchallenged into the Wigan goal
The game ebbed and flowed from here on in and both sides had half chances which indicated the game may not go into extra time and this proved to be true when Morgan was adjudged to have fouled Pope in the penalty area. Clarke stepped up to take the penalty and despite Jacobs priming O’Donnell on which way his former team mate placed his penalties, Clarke made no mistake and Bury were in the lead with less than two minutes of the game remaining.
Wigan failed to create any real chances, their best effort being a corner which saw O’Donnell go up in search of an equaliser but he was outjumped by Walton and the subsequent whistle blown by the referee saw Wigan lose a game they didn’t deserve to but Gary Caldwell must have been concerned about the failure to turn good creative player into clear cut chances
Team Line Up and Player Ratings.
O’Donnell…..5, lucky to escape with disallowed goal
McNaughton…..6, a solid debut
Morgan….5, struggled against Pope and Clarke in the second half
Barnett……5, see Morgan
Jacobs…..8, excellent attacking performance
Power…..7, looked to push forward at every opportunity
Perkins…..8.5, at the height of everything good about Wigan’s play
Flores…..8, a fine performance from a future Wigan star.
Odelusi….7, showed attacking prowess.
Grigg….7, worked hard but needed better support
Jennings ….6 (for Odelusi), showed some good touches.
Davies ….4 (for Grigg), ineffective
McKay …..n/a (for Flores)
Entertainment rating 6/0, some fine play by Wign ultmately undone by lack of chances created and some poor defending