Mallik Wilks scored an impressive hat-trick as Hull City outclassed Wigan Athletic in a 5-0 victory at the DW Stadium.
No Latics players remained from the team which defeated the Tigers 8-0 in the Championship in July and the ravages of administration were for all to see as the hosts suffered their third 5-0 home defeat of the season.
Wilks opened the scoring in the 27th minute with a fine turn inside the box before firing under Jamie Jones. The striker was quick to add a second five minutes later this time placing his shot from inside the box and into the bottom left corner.
Early in the second half Keane Lewis-Potter headed home from close range from a Wilks cross and with Latics defence in complete disarray Josh Magennis added a fourth with a left footed shot into the bottom right corner on 53 minutes.
Wilks completed his hat-trick on 64 minutes with a powerful drive into the bottom left corner from just outside the box.
Latics remain second bottom in the League One table and the Tigers move back into second place on goal difference.
Leam Richardson made three changes to his starting eleven from the defeat at Oxford United. Dan Gardner, Viv Solomon-Otabor and Jamie Proctor came in. Callum Lang who was injured at the weekend took a place on the bench. Hull who were looking to return to the promotion places had former Latics players, Callum Elder, Reece Burke and Jordan Flores in their squad.
Latics made a slow start and Greg Docherty’s deflected shot forced a save from Jones at his near post after just five minutes.
The hosts were struggling for any cohesion and it was not until the 24th minute before they had an attempt on goal. Solomon-Otabor jinking his way into the box before seeing his deflected shot find the side netting.
Three minutes later and the visitors were ahead as Wilks turned smartly and drove his strike under Jones from the angle of the six-yard box.
It was not long before the Tigers doubled their lead with both Curtis Tilt and Scott Wootton out of position Wilks was able to run forward past George Johnston before placing his shot into the bottom left corner.
Magennis had a great chance to add a third on the stroke of half time but he headed wide of the target from Docherty’s cross.
Early in the second half the points were sealed as Latics defence was easily outwitted by the dominant Tigers. Lewis-Potter heading home Wilks chipped cross to the back post as the hosts defence appealed for offside.
Latics’ players heads dropped and the prospect of an 8-0 reversal loomed large.
On 53 minutes Tilt hesitated and lost the ball just outside his own box and Magennis capitalised driving his shot from the left side of the six-yard box into the bottom right corner of the net.
Richardson made a triple substitution on 56 minutes with Callum Lang, Joe Dodoo and Luke Robinson replacing Will Keane, Gardner and Solomon-Otabor.
But the visitors continued to dominate proceedings and Elder forced a good save from Jones and Lewis-Potter headed wide from a good position.
Latics defence was unable to contain Wilks however, and the powerful striker completed his hat-trick with an accomplished finish into the bottom left corner on 64 minutes.
Zach Clough replaced Proctor on 70 minutes and Latics enjoyed a little more possession in the last 20 minutes but without posing much of a threat to the visitors goal.
It was only in the 90th minute that Latics tested the Tigers keeper Matt Ingram when Clough forced a good save.
5-0 to the Tigers at full time but it could so easily have been many more. Perhaps the only comfort for Latics’ fans was that the Tigers didn’t reach eight.
This was a desperately poor performance by Latics and the second half capitulation doesn’t augur well for their survival chances.
Richardson will find it very hard to rally his troops for Saturday’s fixture against League leaders Lincoln City. A massive improvement will be required if they are to get anything from the game.