Once touted as Paul Scholes’ successor, an ex-United player reappeared in style tonight

NICK POWELL CAME off the bench to score an 11-minute hat-trick as Wigan Athletic recovered from two down to beat Barnsley 3-2 and breathe life into their Championship survival scrap.

Wigan trailed 2-0 at the DW Stadium on Thursday thanks to goals either side of half-time from Adam Armstrong and Ryan Kent, and defeat would have left them seven points from safety with only four matches remaining.

But midway through the second period, Powell – who was tipped to replace Paul Scholes in the Manchester United team when he signed for Sir Alex Ferguson from Crewe in 2012 –  was summoned from the bench by caretaker manager Graham Barrow and he had an impact within five minutes of his introduction with a fine free-kick.

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Powell tucked home to level the scores a minute later, and his hat-trick was complete eight minutes from time.

Having won a penalty after being pushed Angus MacDonald, Powell stepped up to convert and put the seal on a remarkable turnaround that leaves last season’s League One champions four points adrift and harbouring hopes of avoiding an immediate return to the third tier.

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