Gabriel Overton

The Peterborough United under 21s were well beaten by Wigan Athletic in the final game before the Christmas break as the Latics scored three times in the opening 20 minutes at the DW Stadium against a young Posh XI.

Posh, who were without Emmanuel Fernandez and Charlie O’Connell, who have been regular starts at that age group, made a decent start to the Professional Development League contest, but after going 1-0 up through a skidding free-kick from Harry McHugh, the hosts soon took firm control of the clash.

Sharif doubled the lead on 18 minutes after a patient build-up and moments later Max McMillan fired home after a fortunate ricochet into his path. Posh struck the crossbar on 29 minutest through midfielder Harry Titchmarsh with the rebound snuffed out by an offside flag.

Kai Corbett was cautioned for a foul before Posh pulled a goal back ahead of the interval as Gabe Overton tapped home at the back post after the Trialist striker had seen his effort saved by the keeper following good work from Corbett.

However, the three-goal cushion was restored moments later as McMillan tapped home from close-range as Posh failed to clear their penalty area. Ryan Semple’s men made a lively start to the second period with substitute David Kawa causing a few problem. He had spot-kick appeals turned down after he appeared to take a tumble in the box before he found Will Van Lier, but his shot from distance cleared the crossbar.

Van Lier was cautioned for a foul before Kawa saw a left-footed effort deflect over the top. Wigan added a fifth on 62 minutes as the hosts countered at pace, taking advantage of an injury to Mackenzie Lamb, with Adams making no mistake from close-range.

Chentouf fired wide after a good run while the Trialist between the sticks for Posh kept out Adams who fired at goal from a tight angle. Corbett saw a late effort tipped over by the keeper before the Trialist striker headed over from a corner kick.

James Dornelly was cautioned before Kawa fired wide as Posh ended the game strongly. However, the hosts were good value for the three points following a dominant opening spell to the game.

Posh: Trialist A, Dornelly, Mills (sub Fox 56min), Powell, Lamb (sub Bodnar 63min), O’Brien-Brady (sub Kawa 46min), Van Lier (sub Chiha 78min), Titchmarsh, Corbett, Overton, Trialist B. Unused sub: West.