Blackpool and Wigan Athletic put on a show on Saturday lunchtime, with eight goals in the game, but it was Wigan who took the spoils in a 5-3 win.
The game started off as a tight affair, with both sides looking to try and gain control of the ball and maintain possession in the early stages.
The first big chance fell to Blackpool winger Sam Maddox, who managed to get past the Latics’ left-back before advancing towards the goalkeeper. However, his shot from the angle was saved well by Theo Roberts in the Wigan goal.
Rowan Roache then also had a great chance just minutes later. The ball was hit forward, with Owen Watkinson nodding the ball into Roache’s path, but he blazed his shot over the bar.
Wigan then had the next big opportunity as they countered with a three-on-two. The ball came to their striker on the top of the D, but Seasiders’ captain Ben Jacobson got out to block the shot and divert the danger.
It washosts who took the lead on the half hour mark through Rowan Roache’s wonderful curling strike. Nathan Shaw played the ball down the left to Roache, who cut inside past his man, before bending the ball into the top corner.
Blackpool then had a great chance to double the lead five minutes later when, firstly, Ben Jacobson had his shot blocked in the box. The ball then fell to Owen Watkinson, but his effort also hit a defender before bouncing clear.
Wigan equalised thanks to James Berry’s spot-kick. The ‘Tics were awarded the penalty after Tom Williams fouled Berry in the box, with the striker dusting himself off to score the leveller.
Williams then made up for it moments later, with a goal-saving tackle. Wigan looked to counter and had four men running forward, but Williams, who was the last man, made a wonderful sliding challenge on the halfway line to stop the visitors in their tracks.
That tackle led to another chance for The Seasiders. Owen Watkinson’s ball in was met by the head of Ewan Bange, but his header bounced down off the crossbar and out, keeping the scores level at half-time.
Half-time: Blackpool 1 Wigan Athletic 1
Wigan kicked off the second-half and immediately went on the attack, forcing consecutive corners from the off. However, the Blackpool defence held strong and kept the scores level.
The hosts re-took the lead seven minutes into the second-half. After Dylan Sumner had an effort saved by Roberts, the keeper then brought Owen Watkinson down in the next attack. Roberts was booked for the foul, with Rowan Roache stepping up and slotting home from twelve yards.
However, Wigan pulled it level again almost immediately, as James Berry got his second of the game.
The Seasiders took the lead for a third time with 15 minutes left through Dylan Sumner. The goal came from the back, through Ben Jacobson’s searching ball for Nathan Shaw on the left wing. Shaw then tricked his way past the full-back before delivering a pinpoint cross to Sumner, who finished to make it 3-2.
Criag Thordarson then did his bit to keep Blackpool in front, as he stopped Berry from grabbing his hat-trick with a quick save down to his right. However, there was nothing he could do about their next attack.
Just moments after Blackpool made a defensive change, taking off a striker and bringing a midfielder on, Wigan equalised yet again. As they pushed men forwards, a ball from the right was met in the box by Muluwi, one of their substitutes.
Just two minutes later, Wigan dealt Blackpool a killer blow. After a controversial decision from the referee to play on, when the hosts believed there to have been a foul, The Latics had a four-on-one counter attack, which they worked well, allowing Muluwi to score his second of the game.
Both Jack Newton and Lewis Wainwright were booked in the aftermath of those two goals for arguing with the referee about his decisions.
The visitors then got a fifth in the same way as their fourth, as Blackpool pushed men forwards in added time in search of an equalizer. Wigan countered and scored a fifth to wrap the game up, though.
The game ended on a sour note, with both sides having to be dragged apart after the final whistle, as tempers ran high.
However, Blackpool fell to defeat against a Wigan side near the top of the North West Division. The Seasiders will be hoping for an upturn in their form in their FA Youth Cup tie against Doncaster Rovers, with a date to be confirmed.
Full-Time: Blackpool 3 Wigan Athletic 5
Blackpool Goals: Roache (29’, pen 52’), Sumner (75’)
Team: Thordarson; Williams, Avon, Jacobson (c); Maddox (68’ O’Brien), Sumner, Newton, Shaw; Roache; Bange (64’ Jaaskelainen), Watkinson (83’ Wainwright)
Not Used: Simson, Flynn