Ellington - hat-trick hero in the second round against West Brom - hit his double in the 20th and 28th minutes. Fulham hit back in the second half and Luis Boa Morte ensured an anxious last five minutes after his 85th minute strike.
Wigan grabbed the lead in the 20th minute through Ellington, the hat-trick hero in the second round win over Albion. Roberts played a superb backheel across the box which found the striker, who shrugged off Knight and slid the ball home to Taylor’s right.
Ellington was rewarded for his persistence in the 28th minute when he grabbed Wigan’s second after a series of ridiculous defensive blunders.
WIGAN: Filan, Eaden, De Vos, Jackson, McMillan, Green, Dinning, Jarrett, Kennedy, Roberts, Ellington.
FULHAM: Taylor, Leacock, Ouaddou, Knight, Wome, Inamoto, Clark, Collins, Djetou, Stolcers, Sava.
Aston Villa 5 Preston 0
Darius Vassell doubled his seasonal tally with a two-goal blast as Aston Villa cruised into the quarter-finals of the Worthington Cup at the expense of First Division Preston.
Craig Brown’s side never threatened to repeat their shock victory over Birmingham in the previous round and only a string of fine saves from David Lucas kept the score within reasonable proportions.
A minute before the interval Vassell put Villa in front. Murdock headed out a Barry cross to Kinsella who turned the ball back into the danger area and Vassell made no mistake from close range.
It was revealed Taylor had suffered a thigh strain although he was taken off as more of a precautionary measure.
Villa’s dominance was finally rewarded after 55 minutes when Vassell struck for the second time to give his side breathing space.
He kept his composure to skip past Murdock and Chris Lucketti before side-footing past Lucas.
Villa finished with a flourish as they scored three times in the final 10 minutes as Preston fell apart.
ASTON VILLA: Enckelman, Samuel, Staunton, Johnsen, Barry, Leonhardsen, Hitzlsperger, Taylor, Hendrie, Vassell, Dublin.
PRESTON: Lucas, Alexander, Lucketti, Murdock, Eaton, Skora, Etuhu, McKenna, Lewis, Healy, Cresswell.