Report: Wigan 4 Blackpool 0
Blackpool crashed out of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy after finishing on the wrong end of a convincing 4-0 scoreline at Wigan Athletic.
The Seasiders will be glad to see the back of this run of away games, which have wielded four defeats, the latest of which Neil McDonald named a side with an average age of 22 for.
Jordy Hiwula volleyed the hosts ahead and Pool were never in it once Sean Murray made it two. Yanic Wildschut added a third, before Hiwula rounded things off from the spot.
Jarrett Rivers came closest on another fruitless outing for Blackpool, who will be hoping their return to form will coincide with League One football being back at the weekend.
Looking to rid the memory of Saturday’s FA Cup loss, Blackpool set about the job early on at The DW Stadium and the recalled Bright Osayi-Samuel flashed an effort across goal within the opening minutes.
With Colin Doyle ruled out through injury, Kyle Letheren kept net and made his first save at his near post, thwarting Hiwula, before Leon Barnett fired the resulting corner goalwards, only for Charles Dunne to be well placed to clear.
However, the clearance was simply a reprieve and Wigan had their lead minutes later when Hiwula got on the end of Tim Chow’s delivery and fired home.
The striker had tasted blood and volleyed over soon after, but in truth it was a contest which fell into a lull after the first goal, with neither side probing their opponents. However, it was still the hosts asking the questions when they came, with Craig Davies shrugging off Luke Higham but shooting wide.
The former Barnsley man was looking hungry and he again got in behind Blackpool’s defence, only to be denied by Letheren’s outstretched arm, ensuring Wigan’s lead at the break was just by the one goal.
Half-Time: Wigan 1 Blackpool 0
After the interval Hiwula instantly had a second goal chalked off for offside, before Jordan Flores whipped a free-kick over the bar. Far from one-way traffic however, Blackpool momentarily imposed themselves and Rivers’ flick was well kept out by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
However, their hint at a fightback was quickly diffused on 63 minutes as Murray collected the ball, drifted forward and fired beyond Letheren for 2-0. After that McDonald gave minutes to Jack Redshaw and Jim McAlister, who replaced John Herron and Rivers.
The goals kept coming however, next substitute Wildschut capitalised on a slip from Pool debutant Will Aimson, steadied himself and blasted home the third. And it didn’t take long before a fourth arrived in bizarre circumstances.
Higham collided with Letheren, creating an opening for Hiwula, whose shot was blocked by what appeared to be the arm of Higham. The defender got off with a yellow card, Letheren was forced off with an arm injury and Hiwula duly tucked away the penalty.
Of course by this point Letheren had departed, so the striker was tucked beyond Myles Boney on his professional debut. And the young stopper could only watch as Hiwula volleyed his chance of a hat-trick over the bar, and with that went the final chance of the game.
Full-Time: Wigan 4 Blackpool 0