Port Vale Reserves maintain their unbeaten record in the league this season, having seen off Wigan Athletic Development Squad 4-1, courtesy of goals from Scott Quigley, Ricky Miller and Louis Dodds.
Mick Ede named a strong starting 11 for the reserves fixture as Cristian Montano and Manny Oyeleke both made their first starts for just over a month.
Despite Vale heading into the tie on an impressive run, it was The Latics who had the first sight of goal as Sam Hornby was forced into action within the first few minutes. Ollie Crankston took hold of the ball on the right-hand side before striking at goal from the edge of the box. His shoot took a wicked deflection and Hornby did brilliantly to keep the score-line level, tipping over the bar to relieve the danger.
Having weathered the early Wigan pressure, it was The Valiants who would take the lead with 17 minutes played. Ricky Miller with his first action of the game released Scott Guigley through the middle, before the big forward was brought down inside the box, to earn Ede’s side a penalty. Miller made no mistake from the spot has he dispatched into the bottom left corner, sending Owen Evans the wrong way to put Vale one goal to the good.
Following the opener, Hornby was once again called into action, this time denying Jolley from pulling Wigan level. The Latics number 10 beat the Vale defensive line with just the Valiants stopper to beat, however Hornby spread himself well to block the eventual shot with his feet.
Having looked reasonably comfortable since going ahead, Vale conceded in the 32nd as Wigan levelled the proceedings. Joe Piggot got hold of the ball down the Vale left-hand flank before he cut onto his right and smashed into the bottom corner from the edge of the box to bring The Latics back on the level terms. Piggot’s goal saw the sides head into the changing rooms with the score level.
Vale were fastest out of the blocks following the restart and were rewarded for their early pressure with two goals in two second-half minutes. Scott Quigley put The Valiants into the lead on 50 minutes as Louis Dodds got to the by-line and squared to give the forward a tap in from a yard out - just a minute later, the forward put Vale 3-1 up. Once again Dodds was the creator, as the substitute sent a long ball through to the Blackpool loanee, who smashed past Evans in the Wigan net to give Ede’s side a two-goal cushion.
On 58 minutes, it was game over as Dodds added a fourth to put the game beyond The Latics. The forward picked up 25-yards from goal and arrowed a right-footed into the top corner to cap an impressive first 15 minutes for the substitute, picking up two assists and a goal since his arrival.
Wigan came close to pulling one back with just over 10 minutes as Will McGuffie smashed a free-kick from the edge of the box against the cross-bar, though that was all The Latics could muster as Ede’s side saw out the resounding victory.
The reserves squad now look ahead to Rotherham United on 20th November.
Port Vale: Hornby, Gibbons, Montano, Pugh, Jackson (Dodds, 45), Hardcastle, Oyeleke, Quigley, Miller, Kanu, Kay
Unused Subs: Berks, Campbell-Gordon, Wakefield, Ede
Wigan Athletic: Evans, Gordon, Gavin (Joseph, 76), Williams, Obi, Smith, Crankston, Merrie (Perry, 90), Piccot, Jolley (McGuffie, 76), Bonincimo
Unused Subs: Tickle, Mitchell C