MX23RW : Sunday, May 16 00:01:48| >> :600:467397:467397:
Mar 21, 2018 at 7.45pm UK at Banks's Stadium
Attendance: 4,477
Walsall
0-3
WiganWigan Athletic
FT(HT: 0-3)
Jacobs (31'), Fulton (35'), Dunkley (40')

Result: Wigan Athletic cruise past Walsall to maintain automatic promotion charge

Michael Jacobs, Jay Fulton and Chey Dunkley net in nine first-half minutes as Wigan Athletic beat Walsall 3-0 to close in on the top two in League One.

Three first-half goals have helped Wigan Athletic on their way to a comfortable 3-0 win over Walsall in this evening's League One clash at the Banks's Stadium.

Michael Jacobs, Jay Fulton and Chey Dunkley were all on target inside nine minutes of each other prior to the break, as the Latics cruised to back-to-back league wins.

Athletic remain third in the division, but they are now one point adrift of Shrewsbury Town in second and two off leaders Blackburn Rovers, with two games in hand to play on both of their automatic promotion rivals.

The hosts were looking to climb clear of the drop in Dean Keates's first match in charge, but they were nearly behind inside a minute as Dunkley powered a header wide.

Nick Powell, back to full fitness after starting the FA Cup quarter-final defeat to Southampton on the bench, then headed over from a good position after Ryan Colclough hooked the ball into a dangerous position.

Walsall, now beaten in five of their last six, enjoyed a good spell prior to going a goal down - Dunkley being needed to keep out a shot from Amadou Bakayoko.

Wigan were soon on their way, though, with Jacobs turning in Powell's cross for the opener - and his 50th goal in professional football - with just over half an hour on the clock.

Fulton doubled the visitors' tally with his first strike for the club, firing low into the bottom corner from distance, before Dunkley tapped in from closer range once Liam Roberts dropped a corner.

Maziar Kouhyar and Kieron Morris both came close to responding for the Saddlers, the latter forcing Christian Walton into a low save, while Bakayoko came out second best when up against the Wigan keeper.

The remainder of the match saw Athletic retain possession and see things through with minimal fuss, with Colclough firing wide from the last of the chances.

WALSALL (4-2-3-1): Roberts; Devlin, Fitzwater, Guthrie, Leahy; Chambers, Dobson (Cuvelier 70'); Morris, Kouhyar, Oztumer; Bakayoko

WIGAN ATHLETIC (4-2-3-1): Walton; Byrne, Dunkley, Burn, Elder; Power, Fulton (Roberts 82'); Colclough, Powell, Jacobs (Cole 89'); Vaughan (Grigg 70')

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Bradley Dack (C) of Gillingham scores the first goal of the game during the Sky Bet League One match between Crawley Town and Gillingham at The Checkatrade.com Stadium on March 28, 2015
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