Latics produced a superb performance to rout Colchester United, and extend their unbeaten record at home in the league as a brace apiece for Donervon Daniels and Will Grigg, as well as a deflected Max Power effort, secured a 5-0 victory at the DW Stadium.
The win marked Latics’ first 5-0 home success since December 2004 against Preston North End, whilst our last 5-0 victory was in 2008 away at Hull City.
Latics boss Gary Caldwell made just one change to the side which produced a brilliant two-goal comeback at Bury last week, with Grigg brought back into the side in place of Jordy Hiwula – who took a place on the bench.
It was a brilliant start to the game from the hosts, who flew out of the traps and put themselves three goals up inside the first 14 minutes, with Yanic Wildschut causing havoc down the left hand side from the offset.
It didn’t take long for Latics to look dangerous and they took the lead in the fifth minute through Daniels, who met Wildschut’s cross from the left and showed the composure of a striker to coolly slot the ball home from close range.
Caldwell’s men soon doubled their advantage through Max Power in the 11th minute as the midfielder picked up the ball 25 yards from goal and saw his effort take a deflection, looping over a helpless Jamie Jones in the Colchester goal into the right hand corner.
The ecstasy continued for Latics, who added a third just three minutes later in the 14th minute, with Daniels again showing great composure to pounce on Grigg’s header and slot the ball into the bottom right hand corner.
Latics continued to pour forward, and they ensured they would go into the interval a staggering four goals to the good in the 33rd minute, when Grigg slotted home from close range. It was a brilliant team goal from the hosts, who produced some excellent passing play to again carve open the visitors down the left. The ball eventually came to David Perkins, who turned brilliantly to zip into the area, and his centre made it easy for Grigg, who showed a striker’s touch to finish.
Caldwell can’t have had an easier half-time team-talk since taking over as manager, but the hosts didn’t let up in the second half – continuing to look for more goals to entertain the home support.
Wildschut continued to create absolute havoc throughout, and he came so close to getting the goal he deserved five minutes into the second half when good play saw the winger released in the area, only for Jones to pull off a brilliant save from close range to deny him.
Attention briefly switched away from the pitch on 54 minutes, though, when an announcement over the DW Stadium sound system was made to inform a Latics fan that his girlfriend had just gone into labour! The East Stand were quick to react, and let the expecting father know that it was time to go!
Caldwell soon freshened up his side with two changes just past the hour mark, with first Francisco Junior coming on for Michael Jacobs, before the excellent Wildschut was given a standing ovation as he was replaced by Grant Holt.
It was a nice moment for Holt, who received a warm welcome as he made his long anticipated return to the DW Stadium after injury.
Holt was looking lively, and the frontman was unlucky not to mark his return with a goal, linking up well with his side’s front line to carve out several chances. The first came in the 79th minute when Junior produced an excellent ball to release Grigg into the area before the striker burst down the right hand side and pulled the ball across, but Holt couldn’t quite tap it in from point blank range.
Holt had an even better chance two minutes later when he did brilliantly to win back the ball on the left, before he burst forward and saw his effort go just wide of the far post when one-on-one with Jones.
Latics got their fifth three minutes from time through Grigg, who saved the best until last with a brilliant chipped effort to dumbfound Jones after being released by a brilliant ball from sub Donald Love.