Latics slip into relegation zone after another narrow defeat – Wigan Athletic 0 Peterborough United 1

Kal Naismith Wigan Athletic Kal Naismith went closest for Latics 

Wigan Athletic slipped into the League One relegation zone after a narrow 1-0 defeat against promotion chasing Peterborough United.

Tricky winger Siriki Dembele was a constant threat for the visitors who should have been ahead on 13 minutes when Dembele pulled the ball back for Joe Ward but the midfielder fired narrowly wide from a good position.

Posh went in front on 27 minutes when Dan Butler’s deep cross found the unmarked Jonson Clarke-Harris who had time to chest the ball down before volleying past Jamie Jones.

Latics had the better of the second half but despite enjoying more possession they lacked a cutting edge. Kal Naismith going closest for the hosts in the 91st minute when his cross shot hit the outside of the post.

Latics drop down to 21st place in the League One table while Peterborough maintain fourth place.

John Sheridan made one change to the team defeated at Charlton on Saturday with Matty Palmer making his debut in place of the injured Dan Gardner. Tom Pearce was still unavailable due to injury.

Peterborough made a confident start but it was Latics who threatened first when Naismith had his shot well saved by Christy Pym after three minutes.

Posh should have been ahead after 13 minutes when Dembele cleverly evaded Gavin Massey before setting up Ward but the midfielder fired narrowly wide when he looked odds on to score.

But the visitors were ahead on 27 minutes when Clarke-Harris was allowed far too much room in the box and the striker chested the ball down before confidently volleying home.

Latics forced a succession of corners as the half wore on but the delivery was invariably poor and failed to cause the visitors many problems.

Winger Viv Solomon-Otabor was well marked out of the game by Nathan Thompson as the hosts struggled to create meaningful chances.

Reece Brown fired wide from the edge of the box on the stroke of half time as Posh ended the first half on top.

Latics improved a little in the second half enjoying more possession and occasionally threatening but the visitors always looked dangerous on the break and at set pieces.

Lee Evans went close for Latics when his snapshot forced an excellent save from Pym low down to his left on 67 minutes.

Latics strikers were generally relying on scraps rather than creating clear goalscoring opportunities. Will Keane was replaced by Chris Merrie on 59 minutes and Joe Garner was replaced by Ollie Crankshaw on 80 minutes after both strikers had a thankless night.

Latics did nearly snatch an equaliser in added time when Naismith’s cross shot from the edge of the box hit the outside of the post, but overall they came up short against a good Peterborough team who look like they will be amongst the promotion contenders at the end of the season.

Sheridan’s team are very much a work in progress, having been assembled under difficult circumstances and should be given time to develop.

There are some promising combinations in defence and in midfield with Evans and Naismith but there was a lack of cutting edge in the final third and the manager will be concerned at the lack goals in the last three games.

Player ratings courtesy of Whoscored.com Player ratings courtesy of Whoscored.com
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Frustrating afternoon at the Valley for Latics – Charlton Athletic 1 Wigan Athletic 0

John Sheridan

John Sheridan had a frustrating afternoon

Referee Ollie Yates was the centre of attention as Latics were narrowly defeated by Charlton Athletic in a hard fought fixture at the Valley.

Yates’s decision-making was erratic throughout, disallowing a Latics goal and twice denying penalty appeals when Will Keane and later Lee Evans appeared to be fouled in the box. 

Despite the visitors best efforts the hosts secured the three points on 65 minutes when Jake Forster-Caskey’s expertly executed free-kick went in off the inside of the post. 

Latics slip down to 18th in the League One table while the Addicks move above them to 15th spot.

Manager John Sheridan made several changes to the team which had been so convincingly defeated at Crewe with captain Joe Garner returning from injury. Dan Garner came into midfield and new signing Curtis Tilt made his debut in defence.

Tom Pearce was unavailable due to injury and Tom James moved over to left back and Gavin Massey moving to right full back, with Kal Naismith moving into the right midfield slot in a 4-4-2 formation. 

Charlton had Latics FA Cup winning hero Ben Watson in the starting line-up and former striker Omar Bogle on the bench.

After an even opening period Charlton had the first chance on ten minutes when Jamie Jones made an excellent reaction save at his near post to deny Forster-Caskey.

Forster-Caskey went close again on 18 minutes when his free-kick from 25-yards out clipped the top of Jones’ crossbar. 

Latics first real chance came on 22 minutes when Evans’ corner found Darnell Johnson on the edge of the six-yard box and the Leicester City loanee headed powerfully towards goal only for Ben-Amos to make an excellent save.

Almost immediately afterwards Garner had a great opportunity to give Latics the lead but he volleyed wide from eight yards out after good work by Viv Solomon-Otabor on the left. 

At the other end Chuks Aneke forced an important save from Jones after he turned quickly past Johnson and looked odds on to score until the Latics keeper intervened turning the ball around the post for a corner.

As the match moved towards half time Latics were struggling to clear their lines as Charlton upped the pressure.  The visitors were also giving away far too many free-kicks and corners. Forster-Caskey wasting an opportunity when his free-kick from 25 -yards sailed high over the crossbar. 

0-0 at half time but some ominous signs for Latics as the hosts sought to take control.

Early in the second half Latics had a strong appeal for a penalty when Ryan Inniss looked to have fouled Keane in the area but referee Yates dismissed Latics’ appeals.

Seconds later Keane was involved in a disallowed goal for Latics as he challenged Akin Famewo and pulled the ball back for Garner to fire home but referee Yates once again ruled against the visitors.

On 65 minutes Latics conceded yet another free-kick around the penalty area and this time Forster-Caskey executed his free-kick perfectly as the ball went in via inside of Jones left-hand post.  

Latics were feeling that the decisions were going against them and Massey was booked for dissent after he was penalised for a foul and yet another decision had gone in the the hosts favour.

The visitors were feeling aggrieved but they were building some momentum on the pitch and Solomon-Otabor’s low drive was spilled by Amos but Naismith couldn’t quite capitalise as the keeper recovered at his near post.

Latics looked like they had drawn level on 83 minutes when Garner’s cross wasn’t dealt with by Amos, Naismith teed Evans up to shoot and the Welshman’s shot crashed against the woodwork, but Latics players were furious that a penalty was not given as Evans was fouled as he went to shoot.

Despite the plethora of decisions going against them Latics continued to press for the equaliser right up until the 97th minute when Solomon-Otabor had his shot well saved by Amos.

It was a difficult afternoon for Latics as all the big decisions went against them. On another day they would have got at least a point from what was a very even game.

It was a much improved performance after the disappointing display against Crewe with debututant Curtis Tilt having a solid game in defence and Will Keane looking more comfortable upfront.

Tactically Sheridan’s decision to play Massey at right full back and Naismith wide on the right of midfield didn’t quite work out. I would personally prefer the left footed Naismith to play on the left hand side where he looks more comfortable and will pose more of an attacking threat.

It’s something for Sheridan to ponder and may depend on whether left full back Tom Pearce is available for selection on Tuesday night against Peterborough United.

Player Ratings

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Latics suffer reality check – Crewe Alexandra 3 Wigan Athletic 0

Jamie Jones was one of the few players to emerge with credit

After two very good performances against Portsmouth and Doncaster Rovers Wigan Athletic were brought back down to earth with a 3-0 defeat at Crewe Alexandra.

The hosts produced an excellent display of passing football and thoroughly deserved to secure the three points against the lacklustre visitors.

Despite wasting several early chances Crewe were ahead on 27 minutes when Luke Offord got between Latics’ central defenders Darnell Johnson and Kal Naismith and headed home from close range. Harry Pickering added a well-worked second on 40 minutes as the hosts took full control.

The three points were effectively sealed on 59 minutes when Michael Mandron tapped home after Jamie Jones had twice saved shots from Crewe players before being beaten.

Latics drop down to 16th in the League One table and the Railwaymen rise above them to 13th place.

New signing Will Keane came into starting 11 to replace captain and leading scorer Joe Garner who suffered a head injury against Doncaster. In his absence Lee Evans captained the team. Crewe had two former Latics players Donervon Daniels and Mandron in their starting line-up.

In windy conditions Latics might  have gone ahead early on when Gavin Massey’s blocked tackle flew towards goal but keeper Dave Richards managed to stay alert and tip over the crossbar.

Naismith then had a great chance when the ball fell to him eight-yards out but he lifted his effort high over the crossbar.

Jones then came to Latics’ rescue as he made a fine double save from Perry Ng and Daniels. The former Latic Daniels was injured in the attack and had to be replaced by Omar Beccles.

Mandron then had a chance on 21 minutes when he was free on the edge of the six- yard box but he got his feet in a tangle and Jones was able to smother the ball.

Soon afterwards the hosts were ahead as they were allowed plenty of time to cross into the box and Offord got between Johnson and Naismith to head past Jones.

Crewe were in the ascendancy now as Latics struggled to re-create their recent good form and it was clear they were missing the presence of their captain and leading goalscorer Garner.

Mandron could have added to the hosts lead on 34 minutes when he headed straight at Jones from a good position.

But Crewe increased their advantage just before half time when Pickering drove forward into the box before smashing his shot past Jones.

Latics had been outplayed in the first half and it would require a radical improvement if they were to get anything from the game.

They started the second half more brightly but couldn’t capitalise when keeper Richards failed to punch clear inside his own six-yard box.

But soon the hosts increased their lead despite the best efforts of Jones, who twice saved shots, before Mandron tapped the ball home.

Massey fired wide for Latics on 64 minutes and substitute Olly Crankshaw had a goal disallowed for offside on 70 minutes, but the truth was that Latics rarely posed a goal threat and Crewe ran out very comfortable winners.

It had been an excellent performance by David Artell’s team but John Sheridan’s men were well off the pace. Latics young players looked tired after a hectic early season and several of the senior players, in particular Lee Evans and Gavin Massey, produced disappointing displays.

Latics have gone through so much change in the last few months and it is perhaps not surprising that all the changes have now caught up with the squad.

It has been a difficult transitional period. The squad is still very thin and too reliant on young players from the Academy. It is important that when the new owners do take over that they recruit players with sufficient quality and experience to move the club forward.

Sheridan must now try to regroup and prepare his players for a tough away fixture at Charlton Athletic next week. It is to be hoped that captain Garner will be available for selection and that some of the other senior players show improved commitment in the coming weeks.

Player ratings Player ratings courtesy of Whoscored.com
Posted in Crewe Alexandra, Harry Pickering, Jamie Jones, Luke Offord, Michael Mandron, Wigan Athletic | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Latics round off important week with back-to-back wins – Wigan Athletic 1 Doncaster Rovers 0

Joe Garner

Joe Garner on target for Latics



It’s been a special week for Wigan Athletic as they received news of new Spanish owners and achieved their first back-to-back League wins of the season.

After a difficult first half, when Doncaster spurned several good chances, Latics improved markedly in the second half. 

Pressing high and giving the visitors little room to play out from the back they dominated and scored on 59 minutes when Joe Garner executed a perfect header from Solomon-Otabor’s excellent deep cross.

Soon afterwards Solomon-Otabor should’ve added a second when set up by Garner but Josef Bursik made a good save low down to his left.

Ultimately the hosts ran out comfortable winners as the visitors rarely threatened during the second period.

Latics move up to 10th in the table while Doncaster sit in fifth.

John Sheridan named new loan signing Darnell Johnson in his starting defence alongside Kal Naismith with Danny Fox likely to move away from the club. Gavin Massey returned to the starting eleven after injury.

Latics started brightly and Tom Pearce’s looping cross nearly found Garner on the edge of the six yard box after only three minutes.

The hosts had a shout for a possible handball on eight minutes when Massey’s shot was blocked by a Doncaster defender.

Solomon-Otabor then produced a neat turn and shot from the edge of the box on sixteen minutes but Doncaster gradually asserted themselves and started to create opportunities at the other end.

On 17 minutes Jamie Jones made two good saves in quick succession from James Coppinger.

Jon Taylor then dragged his shot wide from a good position on 31 minutes as the visitors began to dominate.

Fortunately for Latics the Doncaster pressure came to nothing and Latics could regroup during the half time interval.

Latics started the second half pressing much higher up the pitch and this was to be the catalyst for their victory.

The hosts were ahead on 59 minutes when Solomon-Otabor’s cross was converted by Garner when he headed expertly beyond Bursik.

Garner then set up Solomon-Otabor but the winger’s effort was well saved by Bursik on 62 minutes.

Latics were in complete control now as the visitors struggled to get out of their own half and pose any attacking threat.

Latics back line was rarely troubled and their possession based football enabled them to run out comfortable winners. New loanee Darnell Johnson had a strong debut and looks a promising addition to the team.

If the new Spanish owners can stabilise the club and make a few astute additions Latics might even be able to challenge at the top of the table, a thought which was almost unthinkable a few weeks ago.

Player ratings courtesy of WhoScored.com

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Confidence boost as crisis club Wigan get first win – Portsmouth 1 Wigan Athletic 2

Man of the match Tom James produced a super strike for the second goal.

Wigan Athletic secured an important first win of the season with a fine away performance at Portsmouth.

The club who have had little good news recently outplayed one of League One’s promotion favourites and probably should have won by more than the 2-1 scoreline.

Latics went ahead just before half-time when Lee Evans converted after good work by Viv Solomon-Otabor and Tom James increased their lead on 59 minutes with a super strike from a 30-yard free-kick which flew into the top corner of the Pompey net.

The visitors should have increased their advantage when Solomon-Otabor and Evans went close but they had a nervous final five minutes as the hosts pulled a goal back in the 89th minute through substitute Ellis Harrison.

The result lifts Latics into 18th place in the table while Portsmouth sit in 21st position after three games played.

Manager John Sheridan was without the injured former Portsmouth midfielder Gary Roberts but Gavin Massey returned to the bench after injury. Former Latic Michael Jacobs made his full debut for Portsmouth.

In blustery conditions both teams struggled to come to terms with the wind in the early stages.

Latics had a scare after seven minutes when a Pompey cross deceived keeper Jamie Jones but luckily for the visitors the ball hit the post and went away to safety.

Jones was again in trouble after 13 minutes when he completely misjudged a Jacobs cross from the left but fortunately Kal Naismith was on hand to head clear.

Evans then threatened for Latics when he curled an effort just over the angle of post and crossbar from the edge of the box.

The visitors were unlucky to lose full-back Tom Pearce with an injury after 21 minutes and they had to reshuffle the defence with Chris Merrie slotting in at left-back and Dan Gardner coming into midfield.

Pompey were getting into some good attacking positions but their final pass or cross was ineffective and it was the visitors who took the lead after 39 minutes through Evans.

Solomon-Otabor put in a dangerous cross and after Perry’s shot had been blocked, the Wales international Evans volleyed into the ground and the ball bounced over MacGillivray and into the Pompey net.

1-0 to the visitors at the interval and Latics continued to create the better chances in the second half.

Solomon-Otabor had a fine effort which went narrowly wide of the target after some great work by Merrie driving forward down the left.

Evans then fired over the crossbar from a good position after more good work by Merrie, this time on the right.

Latics consolidated their lead on 59 minutes with a James wonder strike from a 30-yard free-kick. The Hibernian loanee was given the opportunity to take the free-kick after consultation with Latics’ bench and he took the opportunity with both hands with a perfect hit which flew into the top corner of MacGillivray’s net.

Latics were now looking comfortable but they got a scare on 65 minutes when Jones picked up a back pass rather than kicking clear. Fortunately for Jones and Latics the Pompey close range free-kick was blocked by the defensive wall and then cleared.

Garner then nearly added to Latics’ lead when he stole the ball on the edge of the Pompey area but his effort was straight at MacGillivray.

Substitute Williams then fired narrowly wide for the hosts as the game opened up to chances at both ends.

Gavin Massey replaced Solomon-Otabor on 79 minutes as Latics looked to utilise the winger’s pace on the break.

With time running out for Kenny Jackett’s team they pulled a goal back on 89 minutes when John Marquis chested the ball down for Harrison to convert.

A nervous five minutes of added time for Latics to survive but they held on with few major scares and secured their first three points of the season.

This was a throughly deserved victory for John Sheridan’s newly assembled team and it should give them confidence going into next week’s home fixture against Doncaster Rovers.

There were some excellent performances at Fratton Park with James, Merrie, Naismith and Evans outstanding. The team played some good passing football with the young players who have come into the squad from the Under 23s doing exceptionally well in difficult circumstances.

Off the field matters are still very worrying but on the playing side the feeling is now much more upbeat.

Latics ratings Player ratings courtesy of Whoscored.com
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When will Latics’ luck change? Wigan Athletic 2 Gillingham 3

Kal2

Kal Naismith pulled a goal back

Crisis club Wigan Athletic are in desperate need of a fillip after they slipped to a narrow 3-2 defeat at home to Gillingham.

John Sheridan’s team has been assembled quickly following a fire sale of their senior players but the new line-up should have got at least a point from this League One fixture after controlling much of the game.

Joe Garner gave Latics an early lead with a first time finish following good work by Viv Solomon-Otabor but the Gills hit back almost immediately through Jordan Graham.

Eight minutes later they added a second as Latics defence stood off and the former Aston Villa youth midfielder beat Jamie Jones from a tight angle.

Trae Coyle added a third for the visitors after the break as Latics’ defence was all at sea but the hosts rallied and pulled a goal back from Kal Naismith following a corner, and they might have had a penalty in added time when Christian Maghoma appeared to handle in the box.

Latics made four changes to the team defeated by Ipswich Town with Tom James and Nathan Cameron making their debuts in defence alongside the returning Danny Fox. There was also a first start and home debut for Alex Perry in midfield.

The hosts started brightly and could have been ahead after only six minutes when Lee Evans found himself free in the centre of the box but his hesitation allowed a Gills defender to block his effort on goal.

Solomon-Otabor then had a glorious opportunity to give Latics the lead but he mis-kicked when free inside the six yard box with the goal at his mercy.

Solomon-Otabor had a big say in Latics’ first goal however, as he used his pace and skill to evade his marker and cross for Garner to finish with a first-time volley past Jack Bonham.

As is often the case, Latics switched off after taking the lead and immediately conceded an equaliser.

They failed to clear several high balls and Graham was allowed to finish with ease from inside the box.

It was not long before the Gills went ahead as Latics’ defence once again switched off as Graham easily turned Cameron and fired low past Jones from a tight angle.

Latics were enjoying plenty of possession but their build-up play was too slow allowing the Gills to get back into formation and defend easily.

The hosts new defensive line-up was hesitant throughout and it was to be their downfall as the visitors increased their lead on 62 minutes. Coyle, was allowed far too much time and space on the edge of the area, before curling his shot into the right corner.

It looked like the game was now over but almost immediately from the kick off Latics reduced the arrears as Naismith poked the ball home from Gary Roberts’ corner kick.

As the minutes ticked down Latics were in almost complete control of possession as the Gills began to sit deeper and defend. Steve Evans usual time-wasting tactics were evident as the Gills players took every opportunity to slow the game down and not allow Latics to build any momentum.

In added time the hosts might have been given a lifeline when substitute Olly Crankshaw’s cross was headed against Maghoma’s arm by Garner, but referee Tom Nield waved away Latics’ appeals and their bad luck both on and off the field continues.

Posted in Joe Garner, Jordan Graham, Kal Naismith, League One, Trae Coyle, Wigan Athletic | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Brave effort by Latics but inexperience proves costly – Ipswich Town 2 Wigan Athletic 0

Joe Garner

Joe Garner hit the crossbar

Following administration and a mass exodus of players, Wigan Athletic fielded a hastily assembled team of youth players, short-term contracts and a few experienced professionals against Ipswich Town at Portman Road.

The Tractor Boys ran out 2-0 winners but Latics can be pleased with their efforts in very difficult circumstances.

Teddy Bishop gave the hosts the lead with a header on 11 minutes after a mistake by Emeka Obi and substitute Gwion Edwards sealed the points with a close range effort with 10 minutes remaining.

Joe Garner hit the crossbar for Latics with a spectacular overhead kick but the hosts later spurned several good opportunities with Jamie Jones making some excellent saves.

The big defender Obi had an unfortunate debut missing two headed opportunities in the first half and being caught out of position for the second Ipswich goal.

New manager John Sheridan was only able to name one player Kal Naismith, from the starting eleven against Fulham in the final Championship game of last season.

Short-term contracts Dan Gardner and Viv Solomon-Otabor made their league debuts alongside Academy graduates Chris Merrie, Emeka Obi and Adam Long. Latics’ bench was made up entirely of players from the club’s Academy teams.

Latics made a positive start and might have taken an early lead when Obi came up for an early corner but his free header went wide of the left post.

Ipswich went ahead on 11 minutes when the unfortunate Obi deflected Freddie Sears’ cross from the left into the path of Bishop who headed past keeper Jamie Jones.

Three minutes later Obi had another great chance to score from Gardner’s cross but his header cleared the crossbar.

Jones then denied Bishop at the other end with a superb fingertip save onto the post to keep the score at 1-0.

Garner nearly drew Latics level on 40 minutes with a spectacular overhead kick but unfortunately for the visitors it crashed against the crossbar.

Jones was again forced into action just before the interval, producing an excellent block with his body at his near post to deny Freddie Sears.

1-0 to Ipswich at half time but Latics were unlucky not to be at least level.

Both teams made a change at the break, with midfielder Alex Perry making his debut for Latics in place of Gardner, whilst the Tractor Boys introduced James Norwood for Aaron Drinan.

Substitute Perry might have made it a dream debut early in the half, chesting the ball down before volleying agonisingly just over the crossbar.

Latics were starting to assert their passing game now with Solomon-Otabor linking up well with Tom Pearce down the left and resulting in Pearce’s low cross forcing a save from Tomas Holy.

But with 10 minutes remaining Ipswich effectively sealed the points when substitute Edwards poked the ball home from close range after right back Obi had been caught out of position.

With the clock ticking down Latics handed a seventh league debut, as winger Olly Crankshaw replaced Merrie.

With the final whistle imminent, keeper Jones pulled off another outstanding save to deny Edwards a second goal, superbly turning the ball round the left post.

Despite the defeat it had been a creditable performance by Latics with many pleasing aspects to their play. The style of football was generally good but some of the young players inexperience and a couple of defensive mistakes had let them down.

The challenge for new manager Sheridan will be whether he is allowed to boost the wafer-thin squad with a few experienced players so that the club can stabilise in League One.

However, off-the-field matters continue to dominate and the main priority must be to find new owners as quickly as possible, if the club is to come out of administration and move forward.

Posted in Gwion Edwards, Ipswich Town, John Sheridan, Teddy Bishop, Wigan Athletic | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Save Our Club – Wigan Athletic are on the brink of disaster

Wigan Athletic are on the brink of going out of existence unless the supporters can raise £500,000 by Monday 31st August.

The Save Our Club appeal was launched today by the Supporters club and has an ambitious target of £500,000 to be raised in only five days.

Supporters can invest in the club with four levels of support:

Tier 1 £250 – £499 • Receive annual financial statements • Receive a quarterly report on club matters • Members’ names will be displayed in the stadium and on a dedicated page on the club website.

Tier 2 £500 – £999 All the rewards from Tier 1 plus: • Consultation on selected non-football commercial club decisions, for example kit choices, ticket pricing etc • Enjoy priority access to selected future club events • Receive an invitation to the Annual Supporters Club Conference.

Tier 3 £1k + All the rewards from Tiers 1 and 2 plus: • Access a training ground tour each season • Take your place on an official ‘team photo’ • Receive exclusive ‘bring friends’ tickets each season • Be part of a monthly briefing with the manager.

Tier 4 Business – We believe the support of our local business community will play a crucial role in the success of our campaign and in the future of our football club. As such, packages of rewards are available for businesses who are able to support our campaign with donations of larger value. To discuss your level of contribution and the rewards available please contact the Chair Caroline Molyneux by email: chairman@wiganathleticsupportersclub.co.uk

Latics were put into administration by the Next Leader Fund on July 1st and the 12-point EFL penalty condemned them to relegation to League One.

The administrators Begbies Traynor have overseen a firesale of Latics’ players and assets with the Euxton Training Ground the latest to be sold off.

The administrators have set a deadline of August 31st for new buyers to come forward, but with many of their best players and key assets sold off, the club isn’t attracting many buyers.

With no firm bids on the table, the administrators are running out of time with the new season about to commence.

The supporters are now in a race to raise the funds so that the club can start the season and avoid liquidation.

Full details of the Crowdfunder campaign and how to contribute can be found here:

https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/save-wigan-athletic

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Refereeing mistake costs Wigan Athletic their Championship status – Wigan Athletic 1 Fulham 1

Wigan Athletic team

Latics were denied the victory they deserved against Fulham and which would have kept them in the Championship by a refereeing mistake.

Latics were leading 1-0 thanks to Kieffer Moore’s headed goal on 32 minutes when referee John Brooks mistakenly awarded Fulham a free kick on the edge of the area on 48 minutes after Joe Williams challenged Joe Bryan for the ball.

Neeskens Kabano drew the promotion-chasing visitors level from the resulting free kick. Raw justice for Latics who had almost overcome the farcical 12 point deduction imposed by the EFL.

Both teams had chances in the second half but it was to be referee Brooks’ error which had ultimately condemned Latics to relegation rather than the visitors exertions.

The other teams in the relegation struggle had mixed fortunes with Luton Town defeating Blackburn Rovers 3-2 and Charlton Athletic losing 4-0 at Leeds. Hull City lost 3-0 to Cardiff City but Barnsley won 2-1 at Brentford to stay up. Overall the results mean that Latics are relegated alongside Hull and Charlton unless their appeal is successful.

Paul Cook named an unchanged team for the season defining fixture.

Latics started slowly and Fulham’s leading goalscorer Aleksandar Mitrovic had a glorious chance after only 90 seconds but he blazed over the crossbar from 12 yards out.

David Marshall then had to make a good save on 14 minutes from a powerful Kabano drive.

The hosts gradually asserted themselves with Kal Naismith forcing a save from Marek Rodak low down to his right.

Jamal Lowe had an opportunity on 24 minutes when he broke clear but instead of going for goal he pulled the ball back and the danger was cleared. Samy Morsy then tried his luck from distance but his strike swerved wide of the target.

On 27 minutes Latics thought they had gone ahead when Moore tapped home after Naismith’s close range effort was saved but the linesman ruled it out for offside.

But on 32 minutes the hosts were deservedly ahead as Nathan Byrne burst forward down the right and clipped a superb cross to the back post for Moore to head past Rodak.

1-0 to Latics at the interval but early in the second half the hosts were undone by a terrible refereeing mistake.

Williams won the ball cleanly on the edge of the area but referee Brooks awarded a free kick and bizarrely gave Williams a yellow card.

Kabano stepped up and expertly curled the ball over the wall and into the top corner. It had been a horrendous decision by the referee and it was to prove so crucial in their ultimate relegation to League One.

Despite the setback Latics continued to press forward and when Leon Balogun surged forward and got on the end of a great cross by Byrne they almost went ahead again but Rodak produced an excellent save diving low down to his right.

Robinson then surged forward to set up Kieran Dowell down the left hand side but the Everton loanees strike only found the side netting.

Naismith drilled wide from the edge of the area on 77 minutes before Williams fired narrowly wide on 79  minutes. At the other end the visitors had a chance on 81 minutes when Bryan got forward but his effort from distance didn’t trouble Marshall.

Cook introduced Joe Gelhardt for Dowell on 83 minutes and the young striker almost immediately made an impact breaking forward only for Michael Hector to haul him down with a cynical foul on the edge of the box.

On 87 minutes Naismith had a shot just over the crossbar before he had another strike well saved by Rodak soon after.

In added time Gelhardt forced another good save from Rodak but Latics just couldn’t find the winner that their performance had deserved.

A cruel end to the season after a monumental effort by Latics’ players. Their performances since lockdown have been exceptional and many have been during the administration crisis.

Cook and the players should be extremely proud of the character, determination and skill they have shown in adversity. They did not deserve this ending to the campaign.

Without the EFL’s 12 point deduction Latics would’ve finished comfortably in mid-table after a great second half to the season.

However, they now face relegation unless their appeal against the points deduction which is due to take place on 31 July is successful. If there is any justice in football the appeal will be successful but don’t hold your breath.

Posted in Championship, Fulham, John Brooks, Kieffer Moore, Neeskens Kabano, Neeskens Kebano, Wigan Athletic | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Late equaliser puts Latics’ survival hopes in jeopardy – Charlton Athletic 2 Wigan Athletic 2

Jamal Lowe

Jamal Lowe gave Latics an early lead

A stoppage time equaliser by Charlton’s Macauley Bonne denied Wigan Athletic a vital win in their search for Championship survival.

Jamal Lowe had given Latics the lead after only nine minutes when he headed home at close range after Kieffer Moore’s header was only partially saved by Dillon Phillips.

But the Addicts responded quickly and they drew level when Alfie Doughty volleyed past David Marshall following Adam Matthews’ deep cross.

The visitors went back in front on 40 minutes when Antonee Robinson surged forward and played a lovely cross to the back post where Kieran Dowell finished with some style.

The hosts enjoyed greater possession in the second half but it looked as though the visitors had held out until Bonne grabbed the equaliser in the 92nd minute.

Latics survival prospects are now hanging by a thread with the EFL’s 12-point deduction and Luton’s 1-0 win at almost relegated Hull City.

Latics must now win their final game of the season against Fulham on Wednesday and hope that Luton or Charlton lose or draw.

Paul Cook unsurprisingly retained the same starting eleven from the 8-0 thrashing of Hull City on Tuesday night with Joe Garner returning to the bench after suspension.

Latics started brightly and Kal Naismith fired over the Addicts crossbar from 25-yards after only four minutes.

Five minutes later they were ahead as Naismith broke down the right hand side and chipped a superb cross to the back post for Moore whose header was only partially saved by Phillips and who knocked the ball into the path of Lowe to head home on the goal line.

But within two minutes the Addicks were level as Matthews’ deep cross was expertly volleyed into the Latics’ net by Doughty.

The hosts grew more into the game and they started to create chances, the best of these fell to Bonne who was one-on-one with Marshall but the Scotland international made an excellent save with his legs to deny the striker.

In response to Charlton’s dominance Cook changed his formation to match up with the hosts 5-3-2.

Referee Gavin Ward wasn’t doing Latics any favours as he let several of Charlton’s dangerous challenges go unpunished, in particular an elbow by Bonne on Marshall.

Just before the interval Latics restored their lead after great work by Robinson down the left hand side. The USA international bombed forward playing a one-two with Lowe before clipping a neat cross to the back post for Dowell to convert.

2-1 to Latics at the interval but with both teams desperate for the three points it would prove to be a tense second period.

Charlton manager Lee Bowyer made early substitutions with Johnny Williams and Albie Morgan replacing Forster-Caskey and Field as they went in search of an equaliser.

But it was Latics who threatened on 50 minutes when good interplay between Lowe and Robinson resulted in Lowe’s drive from close range going narrowly wide.

Chuks Aneke replaced Davidson on 54 minutes as the hosts upped their aerial threat.

Naby Saar then forced Marshall into another good save from a curled free kick before Latics went close at the other end when Samy Morsy’s strike from the edge of the box was fumbled by Phillips and Lowe couldn’t quite capitalise on the follow up.

Lee Evans replaced Dowell on 66 minutes and Moore had an effort saved by Philips on 68 minutes.

Charlton were enjoying more possession but Latics always looked dangerous on the break and Moore headed Evans’ cross over the bar on 85 minutes.

Lowe was replaced by Gary Roberts as the game entered six minutes of added time.

It looked as though the visitors had held out, but on 92 minutes Aneke won a crucial header and Bonne slotted the equaliser to put Latics’ survival hopes on a knife edge.

Championship Table courtesy of Whoscored.com

 

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