A much changed Wigan Athletic team bowed out of the Capitol One trophy with barely a whimper last night as the home side showing more flair and enterprise than their more illustrious opponents dominated the game for large periods and on the occasions when Wigan had the momentum showed more than enough competency to deal with the threat poised by Wigan
Wigan made 10 changes from the side which secured a last gasp draw against Reading on Saturday with Waghorn the only player retaining his starting role. On the bench Rosler opted mainly for youth with five development squad players bolstered by the experience of Caldwell and Holt
From the off Wigan looked disjointed with the back three of Barnett, Ramis and Rogne seemingly unable to play the ball out of defence with any purpose. The lack of width and pace throughout the team meant that Wigan’s approach lay was slow and ponderous and allowed the industrious Burton midfield to comfortably break up any Wigan attacks.
Burton looked the most dangerous with Al Habsi having to move smartly to gather shots from former Villa player McGurk and Beavon.
Burton looked dangerous from set pieces with the Wigan defence at sixes and sevens and McGurk rose unchallenged at the back post to head narrowly wide.
For Wigan the key player was Shaun Maloney who though looking short of match fitness outshone his fellow team mates, creating half chances for the hard working Fortune who had a tremendous tussle against the three massive Burton centre halves. He was outshone however by Akins the powerful right sided midfield player who exposed Wigan’s lack of width time and again to attack Taylor-Sinclair and Barnett down the home side’s right flank
The opening goal came against the run of play and owed much to the determination of Fortune who raced onto a through ball in the area, turned quickly and fired a powerful shot across the keeper into the far corner to send the 400 hundred or so Wigan fans behind the goal wild with delight.
This should have been the spark to allow Wigan to dominate proceedings but again they seemed content to sit back and again they were made to pay a la Reading last Saturday. With the board indicating three minutes of time added on, substitute Knowles who replaced the dangerman McGurk slotted the ball home after fine work for Akins and Burton trotted off for their half time cup of tea with the scores level, no more than their enterprise and commitment deserved
From a Wigan perspective the second half was no better, slow build up play was effortlessly broken down by Burton whose counter attacking at pace caused Wigan endless problems. Burton’s enterprise paid off as hard work by Akins saw his cross bounce off Barnett and Beavon fired the ball into the net for a much deserved lead.
Wigan threw Holt on shortly afterwards for Maloney in a vain hope to send the game into extra time but despite having twenty five minutes to equalise in the best chance was a long range shot from Fyvie which fizzed over the bar.
Full time brought a roar from the home side’s fans for a deserved victory over a Wigan team who will have to show a marked improvement to gain anything from the league game at Charlton on Saturday.
Team Line up and Player ratings
Al Habsi…….6, did nothing wrong
Barnett………4, lack of pace constantly exposed by Akins
Ramis……….4, lack composure
Rogne………4, struggled all night
Fyvie……..5, typical fiesty performance
Maloney……7, MOM but he didn’t have any competition.
Espinoza…..6, faded after the break
Waghorn…..5, ran around a lot to little effect.
Fortune……6, gave his best
Entertainment rating 5/10
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