Wigan Athletic 5 MK Dons 1

Paul CookPaul Cook
Paul Cook
Will Grigg took his goal tally to the season to 23 with a superb hat-trick as Wigan Athletic crushed MK Dons 5-1 to leapfrog Shrewsbury Town into second spot in League One.

The Northern Ireland hitman opened the scoring on 11 minutes, before an own goal from Ethan Ebanks-Landell doubled the Latics lead inside the opening half-hour.

Credit to MK Dons, who pulled one back through Callum Brittain just before half-time, and then had a decent spell in the game when they threatened an equaliser.

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But the second half was all Latics, with Nick Powell heading home number three - his 15th of the campaign - just after hitting a post with a low shot.

Grigg then took over with his second goal on 74 minutes, seeing his lob tipped on to the bar by former Latics goalkeeper Lee Nicholls, before the backspin on the ball took it back over the line.

And then - with James Vaughan waiting to replace him at the next break in play - Grigg slotted home another Michael Jacobs cross to round off a magnificent win that keeps Latics a point behind Blackburn, who have played a game more.

Right from the off, Latics were on their game and looking in the mood to exorcise the demons of the Easter Monday defeat at Portsmouth.

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With barely seconds gone, Powell chased a long ball, holding off the last defender, before shooting against the legs of Nicholls, only to see the linesman on the far side flagging for what appeared to be a non-existent foul.

A brief moment of panic at the back ensued, as Dan Burn failed to intercept a through ball aimed towards Kieran Agard.

But thankfully goalkeeper Christian Walton hared off his line to boot the ball clear.

And Latics took advantage of the let-off to take the lead thanks to the predatory instincts of Grigg.

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Jacobs’ cross from the left was a beauty, and Grigg - for some reason left unmarked - stabbed home from five yards.

Jacobs then almost made it 2-0 himself, with Powell allowing a pass from Sam Morsy go through his legs to find the winger, who cut inside and curled a shot just wide of the far post.

More impressive stuff from Jacobs saw him turn down the chance to shoot and lay it off to Powell, whose shot was blocked.

Nicholls then pulled off a stunning save to keep it at 1-0, somehow tipping over a goalbound header from Grigg, from Powell’s excellent cross.

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But the respite was only temporary, with Powell’s delivery - aimed for Grigg - taking a fortuitous deflection off Ebanks-Landell on its way into the net.

Gavin Massey came within inches of making it 3-0 with a fizzing drive that flew inches wide.

But the the hosts were rocked on their heels when MK Dons pulled one back – against the run of play – through Brittain’s fine strike.

Dons defender Elliott Ward then headed over, with the home fans wondering how their side were hanging on having utterly dominated the opening half-hour so much.

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And it required a fine block from Burn to prevent Chuks Aneke getting a decent connection when only eight yards out.

Latics recovered their composure during the break, and a Powell shot, out of nowhere, almost sneaked in, only to hit the post and come out.

Powell, though, wasn’t finished, and his bullet header from Massey’s cross was too good for Nicholls to deal with.

The former Manchester United man then headed wide from a similar chance created by Nathan Byrne, before Grigg did make it four in rather bizarre circumstances.

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Grigg raced through and lobbed Nicholls, who did ever so well to tip the ball on to the bar.

But as the ball bounced out, it had sufficient backspin to find its way back into the net.

Substitute Vaughan was then given the nod to get ready to take over from his striking colleague but, before the ball was played out, Latics netted number five.

Jacobs found Grigg, who composed himself before slotting home under Nicholls to complete his hat-trick in fine style.

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With Vaughan taking over from the hat-trick hero before the restart, it could - and should - have been six before full-time.

Left-back Callum Elder’s cross was missed by everyone and fell to Gary Roberts at the far post.

However, and virtually on the line, but the substitute somehow steered the ball away from the goal - much to his own dismay ... but thankfully it mattered not.