HomeMatch Reports2002-2003 - Wigan Athletic 3 West Bromwich Albion 1

Worthington Cup Second Round - Wednesday 2nd October 2002

3
Wigan Athletic
Nathan Ellington 31
Nathan Ellington 61
Nathan Ellington 80
Wigan Athletic
West Bromwich Albion
1
West Bromwich Albion
Lee Hughes 89
Kick-off: 19:45
Venue: JJB Stadium
Referee: Lee Cable (Woking)
Attendance: 6,558

Report by: John Patrick Heeley

Premier League side West Brom were swept aside at the JJB Stadium as Nathan Ellington grabbed his first hat trick in a Wigan shirt to put the West Midlands outfit out of the Worthington Cup.

The Duke bagged a trio of trebles for his old club Bristol Rovers last season including one that knocked Derby County out of the FA Cup and against West Brom he simply reiterated exactly why Wigan forked out £1.2 million for his services.

Gary Megson fielded what he would describe as a weakened side but it was still riddled with talent. Former Tranmere Rovers keeper Joe Murphy stepped in to make his first start for the club and his old Prenton Park team mate Jason Koumas lined up in midfield.

Albion's record signing Lee Hughes returned to the side after missing out on Monday night against Blackburn and former Sunderland and QPR striker Danny Dichio made a rare start to line up alongside Hughes in attack.

Former Nottingham Forest defender Des Lyttle started for the first time this season, as did Portuguese midfielder Jordao who partnered up with debutant Lloyd Dyer.

Wigan played without leading goalscorer Andy Liddell who began a three match suspension and Scott Green who picked up a groin strain against Barnsley at the weekend. The pair were replaced by Neil Roberts and Gary Teale with Lee Ashcroft and Leighton Baines taking their places on the bench.

Wigan started brightly and went close in the the 8th minute through Lee McCulloch who collected a throw down the right and turned to fire a fierce shot from the corner of the penalty area but his shot went narrowily wide.

Three minutes later Jason Jarrett broke throught midfield to send a low drive on goal which Murphy got down to collect.

With 14 minutes on the clock Ellington took on two Albion defenders to break into the area and with his route to goal blocked by Icelandic defender Larus Sigurdsson managed to get in a shot which Murphy fumbled and Neil Roberts charged in for the rebound but could only put behind for a goal kick.

Ellington flashed a header across the face of goal in the 17th minute and 5 minutes later he combined with Neil Roberts to take on the West Brom defence but the Welsh forward opted to attempt a lob to the far post from the left with his strike partner waiting on the opposite side of the area but the effort went high and wide.

Wigan continued to dominate the play and some brilliant football from the Second Division side in the 26th minute culminated with Gary Teale sending a right wing cross into the middle of the box where Roberts beat off his markers to head wide of right hand post.

West Brom's first real chance of the evening came on 27 minutes when Jason Koumas crashed a free kick against the post from just outside the area with Filan stationary in the Wigan goal.

In the 30th minute Lee McCulloch hit a powerful snap shot from 20 yards that brought out a fine save from Murphy who seemed to have hurt his hands such was the strength of McCulloch's effort.

Wigan's efforts were rewarded a minute later. Jarrett kept the ball in down the left wing before sending the ball into the area where Neil Roberts flicked a header to the far post to find Matt Jackson waiting who put it back into the middle and NATHAN ELLINGTONburied the ball into the back of the net with a volley from six yards.

Teale wasted a chance in the 34th minute when he raced down the right wing and with support in the middle decided to go for goal himself à la Andy Liddell style with an attempt to the far top corner which went over and out.

No changes were made by Paul Jewell during the interval but Gary Megson introduced former Chelsea defender Neil Clement to the action as replacement for James Chambers.

Roberts and Ellington went two on two with the Baggies defence in the 54th minute. Roberts controlled the ball on the edge of the area and flicked it to Ellington who was raced in on the left but saw his shot blaze over the bar.

A promising move in the 57th minute saw Teale break free down the right but with Ellington and Roberts waiting in the middle for the ball Scottish winger delivered his cross woefully astray.

The Albion defence were caught napping on the hour mark when Tony Dinning slipped the ball through to an unmarked NATHAN ELLINGTON in the area who gratefully accepted, turned and fired a low shot past Murphy for his 7th goal of the season.

The visitors saw an opportunity to claw themselves back into the game go begging in the 65th minute when fired over from 15 yards out as Wigan seemed to be taking their foot off the gas.

Teale tested Murphy with a low shot from outside the area in the 73rd minute, moments later Ellington did the same from the edge of the area before Dinning fired a left footer wide.

Filan was called upon in the 77th minute when substitute Scott Dobie was sent clear in the area but the Australian keeper read the situation well, getting down at the Scottish international's feet to collect.

Latics finished the game off with 10 minutes remaining when Gary Teale capitalised on a slip by Scott Dobie on the touchline allowing him to deliver a pin point ball to an unmarked NATHAN ELLINGTON who headed home from close range.

The Duke was obviously delighted with his hat trick and returned the ball to the centre spot by smuggling it under his shirt to show everybody that it now belonged to him.

Lee Ashcroft made his first appearance since February when Jewell decided to rest Ellington two minutes later. The applause from the Baggies fans when he left the field just went further to show what talent Wigan have bought themselves.

Hughes went close in the 85th minute when he sent a shot from 7 yards wide of the upright.

West Brom did get a consolation goal with little over a minute of normal time remaining when LEE HUGHES volleyed home from 10 yards to a muted response from the travelling fans, many of whom had already left the stadium.

Just one question. Who was the fat bloke trying to swap shirts with the Wigan players on the pitch after the game? Answers on a postcard to Alcoholics Anonymous.

  • West Bromwich Albion
  • Joe Murphy
  • Larus Sigurdsson
  • James Chambers 46
  • Des Lyttle
  • Jason Koumas
  • Ronnie Wallwork
  • Lee Marshall
  • Lloyd Dyer
  • Jordao 62
  • Lee Hughes
  • Danny Dichio
  • SUBSTITUTES
  • Brian Jensen
  • Neil Clement 46
  • Matt Collins
  • Scott Dobie 62
  • Matthew Turner
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