REPORT | Wigan Athletic 4-1 Southend United
Wigan Athletic 4 - 1 Southend United
Saturday 23rd April
Away Attendance: 579
The Blues were looking to end their woes away from home having not won away since their 0-2 victory at Oakwell against Barnsley back in March.
The home side tested blues keeper Ted Smith who was making his first appearance for the club this season, in the first minute when Stephen Warnock's bending shot was parried into the path of a diving Michael Jacobs who headed over the crossbar.
Yanic Wildschut was proving a menace down Southend's right side in the early minutes, getting himself in behind John White but before his shot could test Smith, Adam Thompson blocked.
The deadlock was broken on eight minutes however when Chris McCann slipped through the blues defence and calmly placed past Smith into the bottom left corner.
The Latics were buoyed by the early goal and Michael Jacobs thought he'd try his luck from 20 yards, Smith couldn't keep hold of the ball but White was on hand to clear away any danger.
13 minutes and Wigan kept mounting the pressure down their left hand side, McCann being fed a through ball and was presented with an opportunity that mirrored his goal, the ball this time though crashed off the woodwork.
The Latics doubled their on 17 minutes when a Yanic Wildschut shot cannoned off the bar and fell into the path of Will Grigg who tapped in his 23rd goal of the season past an already beaten Smith.
Wigan then added a third when Jacobs found Grigg who remained calm and composed to slot home his second of the game on 36 minutes.
Wildschut was again proving to cause Southend problems with him bursting past blues right back John White on numerous occasions this time though Southend managed to block and clear away.
Southend had an attempt on goal on 42 when Ryan Leonard attempted a long range effort, but he saw his shot fly wide.
Half Time: Wigan Athletic 3-0 Southend United
Wigan carried on right where they left off in the second half with Max Power providing himself with an inch of space and from 20 yards had a strike on goal but his shot was over the crossbar.
The Latics added their fourth on 50 minutes through Jacobs when he fired home after a cut back from Wildschut on the left, The home side running riot at this point.
Wigan weren't finished there and looked for a fifth and almost got it on 57 minutes when Grigg found himself bearing down on goal, but his effort from 18 yards curled wide of Smith's goal.
Grigg thought he'd got his hat-trick on 60 minutes as he bundled in a rebound from a Wildschut shot but as he turned away to celebrate, he saw that the linesman had flagged for offside.
Latics substitute Conor McAleny then had an opportunity from 12 yards to expand Wigan's lead but his shot blazed over the bar.
At the other end Ben Coker slipped through Jack Payne who's attempt to put in a dangerous cross was blocked out for a corner. Then the resulting corner on 67 minutes, Payne found Adam Thompson at the far post who headed it back into the mix and Mooney was first there but his header looped over and landed on the roof of the net.
73 minutes and wigan broke but Grigg missed a glorious opportunity as he failed to convert when McAleny squared the ball to him.
The blues did pull one back on 74 minutes though when a David Worrall cross somehow found its way into the Wigan net,
Southend then had another opportunity through John White's cross that almost crept in past Latics goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen, but the fin ensured not to be beaten by tipping over the bar.
The results mean that the blues stay rooted in 13th in the Sky Bet League One meanwhile the win sees the hosts all but confirm their return to the Sky Bet Championship.
Full Time: Wigan Athletic 4 - 1 Southend United
Smith, White, Thompson, Barrett (c), Coker, Worrall, Deegan (McLaughlin 5'8), Leonard, Atkinson, McQueen (Payne 40'), Barnett (Mooney 40')
Bentley, Mooney, Payne, Hurst, McLaughlin, Kamara, Malarczyk
Jaaskelainen, Perkins, Daniels, Power (Morsy), McCann, Grigg (Vuckic), Jacobs (McAleny 65)', Morgan (c), Warnock, Pearce, Wildschut
Nicholls, Morsy, Odelusi, McAleny, Barnett, Vuckic, Wabara