Wigan remain undefeated at the DW Stadium after a less than convincing 1-0 win against Crewe Alexandra. Michael Jacobs header in the 12th minute was enough to separate the two teams in a closely fought encounter.
Latics just about deserved the points after creating a number of good chances in the first half but credit should be given to Crewe for continuing to play their good football throughout. The visitors might even have drawn level as the home team visibly tired towards the end of the game.
Gary Caldwell made three changes to his starting line up following the defeat at Gillingham with Jason Pearce replacing Chris McCann. Johnjoe Kenny and Max Power also came back into the team in place of injured players Francisco Junior and Kevin McNaughton.
After a brisk opening by both teams Latics created the first chance of the game when Will Grigg met Reece James’ cross from the left hand side and forced a good save from Ben Garratt.
The visitors responded through Ollie Turton, who forced a spectacular save from Richard O’Donnell with his driven shot from the edge of the penalty area.
The end-to-end opening continued as Michael Jacobs gave Wigan the lead from Max Power’s corner as he headed the ball home at the back post.
Crewe almost immediately drew level but although Bradden Inman’s low drive defeated O’Donnell the ball smacked against the post and away to safety.
Michael Jacobs was having an excellent game and he almost doubled the lead after 20 minutes when he produced a great direct run through the Crewe defence but he was ultimately denied at the last moment by the diving Garratt.
Latics were now on top and they went close again in the 27th minute when Jonjoe Kenny fired the ball straight at Garratt after good work by Jacobs.
Jacobs was proving to be Wigan’s biggest threat and he went close soon afterwards forcing yet another good save from Garratt.
Latics were disappointed to go into the interval with a one goal lead but Crewe were also a little unlucky not to have troubled the score sheet.
Latics started the second half brightly and Jacobs played a neat one-two with Will Grigg, before once again testing Garratt from 25 yards.
Will Grigg was then very unlucky not to double Latics lead when he headed Craig Davies’ cross from the left against the crossbar from close range.
Wigan’s failure to capitalise on their chances meant Crewe still posed a serious threat. The visitors continued to play their neat passing game often to the frustration of the Latics midfielders who struggled to get to grips with their neat interplay.
With 25 minutes remaining Crewe might have equalised when substitute Lauri Dalla Valle headed narrowly wide of the Wigan goal.
As the game moved towards full-time Latics lost their impetus and it was the visitors who were threatening. Fortunately the defence was well marshalled by Captain Craig Morgan and Crewe were unable to create any other clear-cut chances to draw level.
Gary Caldwell was clearly relieved at the final whistle as his team had run out of steam in the second half. The manager will also be concerned about the lack of steel from his midfield. On occasions Latics were outplayed in the centre of the park and they will need to improve in this area if they are to get anything from their next two away fixtures at Chesterfield and Port Vale.