WFA National Cup 1st Round
Teams: Wigan Walkers FC 5 Wigan Athletic CT 1
Venue: PowerLeague Soccerdome Wigan
Referee: Paul Carr
In a local derby down at the Walkingdome this morning Wigan Walkers FC progressed through to the second round of the WFA national cup at the expense of Wigan Athletic Community Trust.
Despite the suggestion of the scoreline, this was an evenly contested game.
Just one goal separating the sides at the half way stage, Wigan Walkers grabbed their second just before the end of the 3rd quarter, the final ten minutes saw the Latics throw caution to the wind in an effort to save the tie, but the Walkers took advantage of their opponents gung-ho style to smash home a further three goals.
The first ever meeting between the two outfits was contested in blistering heat on a glorious day in Wigan, the 40 minute game was split into four 10 minute quarters to allow players sufficient fluid breaks.
The Latics were quick out of the blocks at the start of the game and mustered the early chances but didn’t test home keeper Dave Malone too much.
Against the run of play Wigan Walkers took the lead on 5 minutes. The fleet footed Craig Dainty skipped around two defenders and poked the ball home from the edge of the area, 1-0.
The goal rattled the Latics and for the next few minutes they lost their rhythm, though defensively they stayed strong as Wigan Walkers surged forward looking to increase their lead.
Unfortunately for the Latics the influential Trevor Knight picked up thigh injury and had to be substituted shortly before half time.
The 2nd half was similar to the first with defences on top, Walkers Terry O’Keefe particularly impressive putting in a commanding man of the match performance.
Shortly before the end of the 3rd quarter a speculative shot from half-way whizzed past Latics keeper Ralph Twiss to put the game 2-0 in favour of the home side with just 10 minutes remaining.
Latics lost another player as the final quarter was about to start, striker Ivor Casey going down injured, the Walkers were handling the hot conditions much better and, with the Latics chasing the game, the home side took advantage of the gaps that were now appearing in their opponents defence and banged in another three goals, the Walkers also had the luxury of O’Keefe missing a penalty.
In the dying embers Martin Murphy scored for the Latics with what proved to be nothing more than a consolation goal, the final score a flattering 5-1 to the Wigan Walkers but it was a game they did deserve to win.
The final whistle brought handshakes from both sets of players, the keenly contested game ended with Wigan Walkers progressing through to the 2nd round of the WFA Cup. A great effort from both sets of players, played in the right spirit and superbly refereed by Paul Carr.
Man of the Match: Terry O’Keefe (Wigan Walkers FC)
Wigan Walkers FC
Wigan Athletic Community Trust