Wigan Athletic 0 Accrington Stanley 4

Luke Burgess
Luke Burgess

The most youthful team in Wigan Athletic’s history were battered 4-0 at home by in-form League Two outfit Accrington Stanley to crash out of the Checkatrade Trophy at the group stage.

Boss Paul Cook had never made any bones about his thoughts on the much-maligned competition, despite victories in the two previous group games against Blackpool and Middlesbrough Under-23s.

But by naming an 18-man squad without a single league start between them - and with squad numbers adding up to a combined total of 787 - there was no masking where his priorities for the campaign clearly lie.

The youngsters themselves that was expected of them, with Luke Burgess in midfield particularly impressing with some neat footwork and good movement.

But Accrington - second in the fourth tier, and not far off full strength - didn’t look a gift horse in the mouth, cruised to a convincing and thoroughly deserved victory in the first ever meeting between the two sides.

Jonny Edwards opened the scoring for the visitors on 12 minutes with a firm strike that crashed in off the bar.

The hugely-impressive Erico de Sousa made it 2-0 on the half-hour mark with a low strike that went in off the post, with goalkeeper Theo Roberts again unable to get there at full stretch.

Despite never giving up, the Latics youngsters couldn’t force Accrington goalkeeper Max Stryjek into anything resembling work.

And the result was put beyond doubt just before the hour mark when De Sousa again beat Roberts with a low finish.

The 1,368 home fans in the crowd of 1,473 were at least given something to remember at the midway point of the half.

Jensen Weir, son of former Everton and Scotland defender David, came on to make his debut at the age of 15 years and 280 days - becoming the club’s youngest-ever player, having been born on January 31, 2002.

There was to be a final sting in the tale, but unfortunately it was at the wrong end, with Mekhi McLeod advancing on goal and slipping past a helpless Roberts.

As well as eliminating Latics from the competition, the result also sees the end of a proud unbeaten home record stretching back to March 20 and 15 matches.

Star Man: Luke Burgess