REPORT: Accrington 1 Wigan Athletic 1 (Latics win 5-4 on penalties)

Wigan Athletic remain on the Wembley trail in the Papa John's Trophy after seeing off Accrington via a penalty shoot-out.

Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 10:02 pm
Updated Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 10:04 pm
Stephen Humphrys takes the plaudits after equalising for Latics

Despite trailing at half-time, Latics levelled through Stephen Humphrys at the start of the second period.

And there's no doubt they were the side who deserved to advance, with Gwion Edwards and Humphrys hitting the woodwork as the visitors looked to win it in 90 minutes.

After making nine changes - retaining only Jason Kerr and Thelo Aasgaard from the weekend - Leam Richardson saw his side get quickly into their stride.

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And it was Aasgaard who almost opened the scoring in the opening exchanges, picking up a loose ball and unleashing a shot which was tipped round the post.

Against the run of play, it was Accrington who took the lead, with Harry Pell nodding over the advancing Jamie Jones and into the Latics net.

Almost immediately, Humphrys was presented with a massive chance for 1-1, again after a mix-up at the back, but he pulled his shot wide of the near post.

The former Rochdale man then cut in from the right and saw a left-foot strike fly only just too high.

Latics suffered a massive blow just before half-time when young midfielder Scott Smith limped off after taking a hefty blow to his right ankle.

After another mix-up at the back from Latics, Harvey Rodgers lifted his shot over the top when he could easily have doubled the Accrington lead.

And after that, it was all Latics.

Eight minutes after the restart Humphrys fired into the top corner via a huge deflection off a defender.

With 19 minutes left, Edwards took delivery of a short corner before shooting against a post.

And four minutes later, Humphrys won the ball in centre-field and raced clean through, with his shot beating the goalkeeper only to come back off the near post.

Chris Sze replaced Humphrys for the closing stages and almost grabbed a late winner, his lob clearing the advancing goalkeeper before being cleared off the line by a covering defender.

The referee's whistle meant penalties and, after Jordan Jones, Gavin Massey, Tom Bayliss, Kell Watts and Jason Kerr had netted, Jamie Jones saved Accrington's 10th effort - and the 545 visiting supporters dreaming of a Wembley return.

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