A bumper four-figure crowd were treated to a real feast of football in the sunshine at Ashton Town as the annual Joseph’s Goal legends game saw Latics beat Manchester City on penalties following an eight-goal thriller.
Goals from Nathan Ellington and Paul Scharner put Latics 2-0 up early doors, before a brace from David Dempsey - the Ashton Town manager, playing for City as a ‘ringer’ - levelled the scores.
Jason Jarrett put Latics back in front after the break with a cool finish before Chris Shuker levelled for City, and Dempsey edged the visitors ahead with his hat-trick goal.
However, with virtually the last kick of the 90 minutes, Ellington lined up a free-kick from 25 yards, and sent the ball arrowing over the wall and into the top corner of the net.
The crowd were then treated to shoot-out drama, with Jarrett, Ellington and Gary Teale scoring the first three for Latics and City missing their first two.
City’s third penalty was converted, giving Scharner the chance to win it for Latics - only for the Austrian to hit the inside of the post.
The visitors pulled it back to 3-2, but up stepped Emmerson Boyce - Wigan’s FA Cup-winning skipper, and long-term ambassador of Joseph’s Goal - to convert the winning kick as the crowd flooded on the pitch to get their photographs and autographs.