Saturday 11th October 2008

Wigan Robin Park 4 Norton United 3
Vodkat League Division 1
At Robin Park Arena
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Attendance: 55
Weather: mild, dry

Norton United manager Dave Beswick was left to a defensive lapse after his side scored three goals away from home yet ended up without a point.

With the scoreline 3-2 in favour of Wigan entering the final quarter hour, substitute James Martin was given time and acres of space to latch onto the throughball and lob Gary Goodwin to give his side a match-winning two-goal cushion.

That fourth goal ended up proving crucial at the end as Norton managed to score what was merely a consolation late on with Lee Talbot’s second goal of the afternoon.

“I am very disappointed,” said Beswick.

“The game was going our way until we’ve given them the fourth goal.

“We switched off from defending, they scored the fourth goal and that is what has killed us.

“We’ve got some really good players and I can’t say that anyone in the team has played badly. They have all played their part today.

“As a team we’ve done very well, worked hard and played some good football. We were the best team on the day and were extremely lucky to get a win and you can tell that by the way they defended.”

The opening half hour at the Robin Park Arena, located next to the JJB Stadium, gave no indication of the goal glut that was to follow. Wigan striker Danny Worthington volleyed against a post early on thought that was just about the only chance of note.

The home side, however, took the lead in the 32nd minute. From a free-kick awarded 28 yards out for a foul by Jon Jackson, defender Ben Kay curled the ball over the wall and into the top-right with the aid of a wicked deflection.

Norton put Wigan under pressure during the latter stages of the first half and got back on level terms a minute before the break.

Tom Winkle’s long throw from the left into the area was flicked on to the far post where Paul Rutter fired home from eight yards out.

Unchallenged Rutter should have put his side in front nine minutes after the restart. Talbott and sent skipper Mark McDonald down the left but his low pinpoint cross was put over the bar from a just a few yards out.

The miss proved costly as poor defending allowed Wigan to regain the lead just after the hour mark. Kay, up for a corner, hammered home his second goal of the game after Norton failed to deal with Andy Whittle’s cross into a crowded area.

Whittle was again the provider as the home side increased their lead in the 69th minute. Scott Callaghan nipped in at the near post to convert a low right-wing cross via the underside of the bar.

Beswick made a double change and his side again got back into contention with a 76th-minute opportunist goal. Talbot flicked the ball past Foulds with an acrobatic overhead kick.

Steven Colclough whipped as dangerous ball from the left but the sliding Rutter just couldn’t apply the finishing touch as Norton almost equalised.

But Norton were undone at the back as Wigan regained their two-goal advantage through Martin.

Norton quickly bounced back in the 84th minute when Talbot turned inside the area 15 yards out and fired a low left foot shot into the bottom left corner.

Jimmy Dunn came on for Robert Drummond as a third striker and he almost forced a late equaliser. He cut in front the left and fired a low shot which Kay almost deflected into his own net.

Wigan Robin Park: Foulds, Dennett, Mullen, Pitts, Kay, Callaghan, Whittle (Martin, 78), Neafcy, Edwards (Corcoran, 65), Worthington, Callaway. Unused subs: Ben Musa, Mullen.

Norton United: Goodwin, Davies, Drummond (Dunn, 84), Jackson (Dundas, 74), Winkle, Harper, Hughes, McDonald, Talbot, Rutter, Fox (Colclough, 74). Unused subs: Smith.

Referee: N. Gibbons.