Wigan Athletic signed off from their pre-season trip to the Netherlands with a victory over troubled Dutch side TOP Oss.

PRE-SEASON FRIENDLY – Sportpark Scalune, Schelluinen – Thursday 18th July 2002


Roberts 14
Ellington 55

TOP Oss had finished a massive 7 points adrift at the bottom of Division Two last season, after winning only 3 of their 34 games and conceding 100 goals into the bargain and at present are currently uncertain if they will be playing football at that level in the forthcoming season.

A minutes silence was observed before the start of the game for David Wiggans, a Latics nut if there ever was one, who tragically passed away last week at the age of 33. His funeral had been held only a few hours earlier.

Paul Jewell made several changes to the line up that started on Tuesday night against Roosendaal with new signings Ian Breckin and Mike Flynn both starting the game along with young Leighton Baines for their first ever starts for Wigan.

Peter Kennedy also started the game after joining up with his team mates on Wednesday after he had stayed behind to witness his wife giving birth. Paul Mitchell was missing from the squad, rested after picking up a slight thigh strain against Roosendaal.

Wigan took a little time to settle into the game but after 13 minutes they broke the deadlock with Lee Ashcroft sending the ball into the box for NEIL ROBERTS to nod home.

Jewell made sweeping changes to the side during the break with the likes of Nathan Ellington and Andy Liddell entering the fray and it didn’t take very long for the pair to combine for Wigan’s second goal of the evening.

Liddell sent the ball through to NATHAN ELLINGTON who made no mistake finding the target for his third goal in five games since his £1.2million signing on deadline day, hopefully a record that he will maintain when the season kicks off at Cheltenham on August 10th.

TOP Oss grabbed a consolation goal soon after the restart but Wigan hung on for a morale boosting victory witnessed by the loyal following that had travelled into Europe to support their club.

Paul Jewell again reported a few ‘bumps and bruises’ picked up in what he described as a ‘tough, physical’ game but nothing serious enough to cause concern.

Paul Jewell again made several changes at the interval and it was two of the substitutes who combined to extend Latics lead just 9 minutes after the break. Last seasons top scorer Andy Liddell threaded the ball through and Nathan Ellington rifled the ball home for his third goal in Latics colours.

Within two minutes the ‘Ossers’ pulled a goal back but that was as good as it got for the home side as Latics hung on to claim their first win of the season.

Around 150 Latics fans had made the trip and must be pleased to see their team open their goalscoring account and Jewell was understandably pleased to see his side register a confidence boosting win.

“It was a tough, physical game and we’ve picked up a few bumps and bruises. I don’t think it’s anything too serious though. I’ve said that it’s the performances that I’m interested in but and win’s a win and it’s nice open our account.

“It was nice to get on the scoresheet too – we know we need to improve going forward and let’s hope this is the start of such an improvement.”

  John Filan
  Scott Green
  Matt Jackson
  Ian Breckin
  Leighton Baines
  Gary Teale
  Tony Dinning
  Mike Flynn
  Peter Kennedy
  Neil Roberts
  Lee Ashcroft
  Jason De Vos
  Steve McMillan
  Ian Pendlebury
  Ged Brannan
  Jason Jarrett
  Lee McCulloch
  Andy Liddell
  Nathan Ellington