Town 1 Wigan Athletic 5
Town: Mark Halstead, Zak Whitbread, Jermaine Grandison, Ian Black, Kyle Vassell, Richie Wellens (Dom Smith 67), Shaun Whalley, Sullay Kaikai (Larnell Cole 81), Junior Brown (Mat Sadler 50), Jack Grimmer, Abu Ogogo (c)
Subs: Jayson Leutwiler, Andy Mangan, Jordan Clark, Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro
Wigan Athletic: Jussi Jaaskelainen, Dave Perkins, Donervon Daniels, Max Power, Sam Morsy, Will Grigg, Stephen Warnock, Conor McAleny (Chris McCann 69), Jason Pearce (c), Yanic Wildschut (Michael Jacobs 73), Reece Wabara ( Leon Barnett 50)
Subs: Lee Nicholls, Craig Davies, Ryan Colclough, Haris Vuckic
Referee - Nicholas Kinseley
Assistant Referee 1 - John Law
Assistant Referee 2 - Darren Strain
Fourth Official - Michael Hanley
Attendance: 7,010 (with 1,535 from Wigan)
Micky Mellon makes two changes from the side that drew last week with Port Vale, Zak Whitbread comes in for the suspended Nat Knight-Percival while Ian Black comes in for Andy Mangan who drops to the bench. Town looked to be setting up with a 4-2-3-1 formation as they look to keep their unbeaten run going against a Wigan side who themselves were on a long unbeaten run.
The first 15 minutes quickly passed by as the opening exchanges were good with decent football being played and both sides looking to attack. There was little in the way of big saves made by either keeper but the football was good and the passing slick.
Wigan looked dangerous on the ball and the outlet down the left of Wildschut was causing a lot of problems for the Town defence. His pace was allowing him to get down the left and create good openings for the visitors, but Town were doing their defensive duties and getting in the important tackles and blocks.
Town were also creating decent openings and the best came on 23 minutes when Shaun Whalley combined with Grimmer to get the ball in behind the Wigan defence, Whalley delivered a lovely cross to the near post and there was Vassell looking to head home but Pearce managed to get in first and nick the ball away before Vassell could head home.
It was Town who got their noses in front just before the half-hour mark, it came from a Shaun Whalley corner which wasn't delivered the best and the Wigan defender at the nearpost seemed to have it covered, he swiped at it and didn't connect cleanly and the ball spun back towards the Wigan goal, Jaaskelainen managed to push it away but Kaikai was on the spot to turn the ball home from close range to make it 1-0 to Town .
The lead didn't last long, Wigan were trying to put the pressure on, a ball into the Town defence was headed clear by Grandison but it dropped to McAleny who hit a lovely dipping shot from outside the box that gave Halstead no chance.
Wigan's pace was causing Town problems and when a Town attack broke down Perkins countered with pace, he kept his running going to take play into the Town area, there were shots and blocks and more shots and blocks but Town dug in with some important defending and finished with Brown making an important clearance.
As half time approached Town had a decent effort on goal, the ball was played into Vassell on the edge of the Wigan box, he chested it to control the ball and then spun quickly before hitting in a lovely low drive that had the beating of Jasskelanen but fizzed just wide of the farpost.
There was a break in play 5 minutes into the second half after Junior Brown went down following a burst of power to get the ball, he had remained on the ground looking to be in a lot of discomfort. Skitty came on to attend but it became quickly apparent that Junior couldn't carry on and Mat Sadler was brought into the action early on.
Wigan grabbed a second with less that 10 minutes of the half gone, it came from counter down the left where McAlney found the space to run in on goal, Whitbread was back to try and cut it out but the shot took a deflection of the Town defender to take it past Halstead, the ball hit the inside of the post and came back out but Wildschiut was the quickest to the ball and he turned itl home despite the efforts of Grimmer to clear off the line.
Minutes later Wigan grabbed a third and it started with a mistake from Grandison whose pass went to a Wigan man, Town managed to get back and defend after Grigg had got in on goal and Halstead turned it behind for a corner. Power delivered the ball to the nearpost and there was Pearce with a header to turn the ball home for 3-1 to the visitors.
Wigan had the bit between their teeth and Town weren't helping themselves, unable to keep possesion and giving the ball away to hand advantage to the visitors. This happened again when Town gave possession back to Wigan too easily and Grigg was in on goal, he bore down on the Town goal and Whitbread slid in to try and tackle but he caught Grigg and it was a penalty to Wigan and red card for Whitbread who the ref adjudged to be the last man. It was Grigg who placed the ball and hit his shot to the right, Halstead guessed correctly but the ball had too much on it and flew in to make it 4-1 to Wigan.
Andy Mangan had been stripped and ready to come on but the red for Whitbread meant a change of plan and minutes after the restart it was Dom Smith who came into play with Richie Wellens making way.
The extra man advantage meant that Wigan were seeing a lot of the ball and keeping possession for long periods of time. Town were working to close down and harry possession but when they did get the ball the lone outlet of Vassell wasn't producing much in the way of possession around the Wigan goal.
With just under 10 minutes to go Micky Mellon made his final switch with Larnell Cole coming on to replace Sullay Kaikai.
With the end of the 90 minutes fast approaching Vassell was stilling running and closing and trying to get something for his afternoon's hard work, he had the ball on the edge of the Wigan box and turned Daniels who fouled Vassell right on the edge of the box for a Town free-kick. Whalley placed the ball and curled an inviting ball to the backpost, Dom Smith rose well and got in a good connection with his head but the ball smacked off the post and Wigan cleared their lines.
Wigan were still pushing and attacking looking to add to their lead and just as the board was going up to show the added time they had a great chance, a vicious shot from inside the Town box looked to be going into the top corner but Halstead was there with a superb save to keep it at 4-1 to the visitors.
Wigan did manage another goal just as the added time started and it was a quickly moved ball inbehind the Town defence to find Power who delivered a good ball across the face of goal and there was Grigg in space to turn it home for 5-1 for Wigan.