It was only what I can call interesting last night, a mix of spectacular goals, great football and some comical defending at times. So in every sense of the word it was a cup tie, so good shout Sky Sports to get this one on their live line up. Each of the five goals that we saw were well executed, and in their own right great goals.
But before all that, their is the small point of the Wigan line up, as for me it was a lot stronger than I predicted. I said that the likes of Roman Golobart and Frazer Fyvie would start the match, giving the younger lads a chance to shine. Yet what we got instead, was (minus the defenders) a reserve first team side.
All of the eleven players who played wouldn't have looked out of place in the regular first team, and really that shows in the score line and in the way that for periods Wigan executed Martinez's footballing philosophy.
Yet it didn't go all our own way. Wigan as ever started the slower of the two teams. Sean O'Driscoll obviously telling his players to get in quick and early to up set their Premier League guests, and it nearly worked. Wigan were penned back for the first 20 minutes of the match, as Forrest out strengthen and out played Wigan. But the Nottingham team could not break down our back three, even though they were having a sloppy night.
The combination of Ivan Ramis, Maynor Figueroa and Antolin Alcaraz; sounds great on paper, however in reality it looked fraile at times. The obvious reasons showed with most of the Forrest attacks coming from the Wigan left. Jean Beausejour not totally on game pace was exposing Figueroa who was being pulled wide.
This is what lead to Nottingham's first chance. Two ex-Premier League players combing Chris Cohen getting free of the left, swung a ball into the box that found Simon Cox free. The Republic of Ireland international couldn't bring the ball down and instead it trcikled into Ali Al Habsi's hands.
Yet Wigan pulled themselves together, and two of the clubs outcasts stars linked up to get the first goal of the night. Ronnie Stamm who was playing in his much loved right wing back position, had the beating of the Forrest full back. The subsequent ball into the box was a beauty. Both defenders and keepers got stuck in two minds, as Mauro Boselli beat them to the ball to head home.
1-0 and the Argentinian got his first Wigan goal in over two years. That set the tone for the rest of the second half as Wigan turned on the style, and Boselli didn't stop moving. Getting into every little gap possible and making the Forrest center backs look ragged.
It wasn't long before we added another, ten minutes later Maynor Figueroa adding yet another collectors item to his assortment of goals. The ball at his feet with arcs of space, the Honduran does what he does so well. Driving the ball towards the goal and beating Lee Camp hands down. No chance for the keeper.
2-0 and Wigan were cruising. Which got even better before half time, when we added a third with a minute before half time. Jordi Gomez being fed the ball on the right hand side of the box, decided why not to have a go? Resulting in the best strike I have seen the Spaniard do, with his right foot!
That made it 3-0 at half time, and Wigan looked like they could walk.
Yet the second half didn't start very well. Simon Cox with a brilliant piece of individual play, to control the ball on his chest, turn Alcaraz before nutmeging the on rushing Ivan Ramis. Still with a good twenty yards to the goal, it looked like he wouldn't score. Yet a right footed smasher into the top corner, leaving Al Habsi no chance.
3-1 and Nottingham Forest sniffed blood. They start to circle and pushed forward with every chance they got. Yet really the second half turned into a brawl of a midfield battle, as David Jones and Ben Watson showed their worth for the football club.
It could have been worse of Wigan though. Alcaraz having already been booked for a silly push on an opposition player, then went of to slide in with Guy Moussi. Antolin deciding to back out of the challenge with the referee deeming that a second bookable offence.
Wigan went down to ten men, yet we didn't give up the fight. With both Callum McManaman and Ryo Mayichi coming on to bolster our attacking option, the combination would eventually lead to the fourth goal. That was after Frazer Fyvie was brought on to be given his first taste of English football.
The fourth goal as I said was the combination of the two young attackers. Ryo picking the ball up from a Forrest attack surged forward with the ball towards the Forrest goal. After pulling his defender this way and that, you would have expected him to shoot. Nope the Japanese forward instead played in Mcmanaman who dummyed past his marker to get free in front of goal and place the ball expertly into the goal.
4-1 scoreline was flattering in the end. Yet we took our chances, which in terms of Wigan. Is quite a novelty.