Late sucker punch sinks Latics – Wigan Athletic 1 Swansea City 2

Joe Gelhardt

England youth star Joe Gelhardt

Despite creating the better chances and looking the most likely winners Wigan Athletic suffered an injury time 2-1 defeat to Swansea City.

Swansea has taken an early lead through Nathan Dyer but Latics drew level from Kieffer Moore’s penalty after Chey Dunkley had been fouled in the box.

Latics wasted several good opportunities with Moore in particular failing to capitalise on a one-on-one with the Swans keeper Freddie Woodman and having his shot blocked by Mike van der Hoorn.

But with match heading towards a draw Connor Roberts crossed for Sam Surridge to head home in the 92nd minute and break Latics’ hearts.

Swansea go second in the Championship table while Latics slip down to 20th place.

Paul Cook named an unchanged line up from the recent 2-2 draw at Bristol City. England youth star Joe Gelhardt was once again named on the bench.

The visitors opened the scoring on 12 minutes when Nathan Dyer converted Bersant Celina’s cut back from the byeline.

Latics quickly responded and Moore couldn’t direct Jamal Lowe’s cross past Woodman. Soon afterwards Dunkley headed over from Joe Williams’ corner.

Moore then headed wide after Lowe’s cross found the striker at the back post.

But Latics were level though on 20 minutes when Moore scored his first goal for the club from the penalty spot.

Dunkley was pulled back inside the box by van der Hoorn and Moore stepped up to score his first Latics goal in 13 appearances since joining from Barnsley.

All level at the break but Latics upped their game in the second half and had the chances to put the game to bed.

Lowe turned away from Ben Wilmot on the left and saw his effort from the edge of the box clip the angle of bar and post.

With 20 minutes remaining Cook finally gave Gelhardt his chance from the bench and the young striker almost immediately made an impact.

Gelhardt produced a slide rule pass to play in Moore with a clear run on goal but as the striker shot, van der Hoorn got back to make the vital block.

Latics then had another great opportunity when captain Samy Morsy looked odds on to score from inside the box but his shot was agonisingly deflected just over the crossbar.

Swansea then delivered the sucker punch in added time with Surridge heading home Roberts’ cross.

As in the recent games against Derby County and Bristol City, Latics had been the better team but a failure to be clinical in the final third had once again proved costly.

It is fairly obvious that Latics’ current failings lie in the forward line and the introduction of a goal scorer is crucial.

Young England striker Gelhardt fits that bill and showed what he can do as a late substitute against the Swans and must now be given his chance with a start against Brentford.

Gelhardt is an instinctive finisher who can play through the centre or out on the left wing but his best position is probably in the number ten role just behind big striker Moore.

Cook has been reluctant to start the 17 -year-old in the Championship but his brief minutes of the pitch have already demonstrated his potential to help turn Latics’ season around.

About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in Championship, Joe Gelhardt, Kieffer Moore, Nathan Dyer, Sam Surridge, Wigan Athletic and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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