Wigan Athletic’s failure to convert a multitude of first-half chances proved crucial in the second-half as they slipped to a narrow 3-2 defeat at Peterborough United.
Latics went into the interval 1-0 up but it could so easily have been five or six as they dominated the home team from the kick-off.
Ivan Toney twice, Nick Powell twice, Gavin Massey twice, and Michael Jacobs all had good goalscoring opportunities before Jacobs’ deflected effort separated the teams at the interval.
Marcus Maddison did have a golden opportunity for The Posh at the end of the half but Jamie Jones saved comfortably.
The Posh were much improved in the second-half and drew level when Junior Morias scored from inside the area. In an end-to-end second period Morias smashed home a second from 25 yards before substitute Ryan Colclough equalised following a corner.
But just when it looked as though the points would be shared Jack Marriott was given too much room in the area and Latics left the Abax Stadium empty handed.
Latics made three changes to their starting line-up with Nick Powell replacing Gary Roberts, David Perkins in for the suspended Sam Morsy and Will Grigg surprisingly replaced by Ivan Toney.
Latics produced a dominant first-half display creating numerous chances.
The first came after six minutes when Powell’s cross to the far post found Toney but his header was straight at Jonathan Bond. On seven minutes Powell put Jacobs through inside the box, but Bond saved low down.
Gavin Massey then blasted over the bar from a great position on 15 minutes after good set-up play by Reece James.
Powell’s header from Lee Evans’ corner after 24 minutes bounced into the ground and then agonisingly just over the crossbar.
Latics went ahead on 32 minutes when Jacobs’ shot from inside the box took a big deflection off a defender and wrong footed Bond before finishing in the net.
The Peterborough keeper then made two superb saves to prevent Latics increasing their lead. In a goalmouth scramble he somehow blocked Toney’s first effort before saving Massey’s shot on the line. But surely Latics should have been more clinical in their finishing.
The Posh did have two rare opportunities during the half when Morias headed over from Maddison’s cross on 16 minutes and then just before half-time Maddison was clean through on goal but Jones saved fairly comfortably.
Only 1-0 at half-time despite Latics being on top for most of it, and they would come to rue their inability to fully capitalise on that first-half performance.
The Posh were much improved in the second-half but both teams created plenty of chances.
The Posh drew level on 46 minutes when Morias picked up a loose ball inside the box and smashed home.
Jones then pulled off a great save after Marriott broke clear of Burn and shot from a tight angle after 57 minutes.
The suspended Sam Morsy was clearly being missed as the Latics defence was now being exposed to plenty of Peterborough attacks. Unfortunately David Perkins was unable to provide the same defensive shield that the tenacious Morsy usually provides.
Max Power and Ryan Colcough replaced Powell and Massey after 63 minutes to try and stem the home side’s pressure.
The Posh had an appeal for a penalty when Marriott went down under a challenge from Chey Dunkley in the box but the referee waved away appeals.
Jacobs produced a superb full length of the field run on 67 minutes, evading several defenders before creating space in the area and shooting on target but Bond pushed the ball away for a corner.
Maddison then forced Jones into another good save before Latics came back up the other end. Evans free-kick in the 75th minute just cleared the crossbar before they had a penalty appeal when Colclough appeared to be pushed to the floor in the area.
The Posh then went ahead on 82 minutes when Morias found the corner of the net from 25 yards to beat Jones. But it was not long before Latics were level again as Colclough found space at the back post to tap home Evans’ corner.
But just when it looked as though Latics had managed to save a point, Marriott was given far too much room in the box and he fired home past Jones.
Latics will be disappointed not to have got something from a game when they had 57% possession and had controlled the first half. A failure to be clinical in front of goal is now starting to cost the team points.
Peterborough now move above Wigan into second place in the League One table.