Date: 29th July 2008 at 10:19pm
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Barnsley’s pre-season went from poor to terrible in 90 minutes at Oakwell. The reds were without first choice keepers Luke Steele and Heinz Muller, with both players sidelined through injury. Welsh under 21 international Kyle Letheren deputised in goal.

Wigan took the lead after less than ten minutes when Marlon King pounced on a rare mistake from skipper Brian Howard, to lash home the opener from inside the Barnsley box.

Emile Heskey doubled Wigan’s lead before twenty minutes had been played, with a tame shot that should not have beat Letheren.

Wilson Palacios made it three for the Latics after 27 minutes and the reds looked dead and buried.

Daniel De Ridder provided Wigan’s fourth just minutes after the restart, with the ball somehow finding it’s way into the net off De Ridder after a cross by Antonio Valencia. If there was a touch of fortune about De Ridder’s first goal then his second was stunning. His delicate chip from an acute angle lobbing Letheren to make it 5-0.

Barnsley’s best chance fell to Jon Macken on 68 minutes, but although his effort had Mike Pollitt beat, it smacked the bottom of the bar and ran away from goal.

Michael Brown wrapped up the rout five minutes from time with a simple tap in after the Barnsley defence had gone missing.

If 2-2 draws at York City and Glossop or a 2-0 defeat to Yeovil Town were not enough to shake some life into the Tykes then this 6-0 embarrassment must surely have Simon Davey and Ryan Kidd scratching their heads over where to go from here. A defeat to Cheng Du Blades on Saturday would surely cap the Reds’ worst pre-season in recent history.