Date: 26th July 2017 at 2:56pm
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Paul Cook has popped open a bottle of carbonated liquid to celebrate his maiden win as manager of Wigan Athletic. It was, however, a modest bottle – a larger one with more sugar lies in wait for his first competitive victory.

Notts County were the ‘victims’, eventually falling prey to an increasingly prominent figure in Latics’ pre-season. It’s a name you probably wouldn’t guess… unless you have been following the dev squad, of course.

Callum Lang, appearing as a 63rd minute substitute, stretched to knock home trialist Noel Hunt’s cross at the back post. And it proved to be the decisive moment of a contest that County initially bossed.

The hosts took the lead in the 15th minute as Lewis Alessandra swept home Terry Hawkbridge’s pleasing, probing cross-field pass. Just reward for a busy first half that also saw Liam Walker and Elliott Hewitt go close.

But fortunes changed as the inevitable glut of substitutions arrived on the hour mark.

Lang, who snatched the final goal in Wigan’s behind-closed-doors friendly with Crewe, raced down the right to tee up Mickey Jacobs, but it was actually County captain Richard Duffy that completed the move with a clinical finish. In his own net.

And Latics’ academy graduate grabbed the winner on 69 minutes with what described as a ‘poacher’s effort’. But remember this: twenty-six such efforts might actually win you the golden boot, promotion to the Championship and a rewritten 90s dance record in your honour.

Christian Walton consolidated the victory with two reliable saves in the dying moments. But they weren’t too tricky, at least not compared to those he executed live on Liverpool TV the other week.