Wigan Athletic ended a 15 game winless run and won their first away game since April last year when they defeated Birmingham City at St. Andrew’s.
Latics went ahead when a move involving Anthony Robinson and Joe Williams resulted in an easy tap in for Josh Windass. But the Blues equalised before half time when Kerim Mrabti fired home from an acute angle.
In the 50th-minute Windass’ cross was turned into his own net by Gary Gardner to restore the visitors lead before Cedric Kipre extended the advantage on 73 minutes when he bundled home a corner.
Latics never make it easy though and Jacques Maghoma pulled a goal back to make it a nervous final 10 minutes but despite some late scares they held on for a rare away victory.
Latics move up to third from the bottom of the Championship table while the Blues are in 18th spot just six points above the drop.
Paul Cook made one change from the defeat against Nottingham Forest with Michael Jacobs replacing Gavin Massey.
The visitors had an early scare when Lukas Jutkiewicz headed wide from a corner.
But they were ahead on nine minutes when Robinson battled to win the ball on the edge of the area and Williams crossed for Windass to tap in at the back post.
Latics should’ve gone further ahead when Kal Naismith found Nathan Byrne free in the box but the full back blazed over the crossbar at the back post.
At the other end Jeremie Bela had a shot spilled by Jones but fortunately for Latics the Blues couldn’t capitalise.
But the hosts did draw level just before the break as Mrabti produced an excellent finish from a tight angle.
Early in the second half Lee Evans found Windass who rounded the keeper before firing in a cross from a tight angle which Gardner diverted into his own net.
Birmingham should have equalised soon afterwards but former Latic Josh McEachran fired wide of the target from the edge of the box.
But it was Latics who increased their lead when Windass’ corner was headed on by Evans and Kipre bundled the ball home at the back post.
Latics should’ve been comfortable now but their usual difficulty in seeing out a game reappeared.
It was to be a nervy last 15 minutes as the Blues substitute Maghoma scored as Latics failed to clear in the penalty area.
Jamie Jones then produced an outstanding save to deny Raul Giminez an equaliser at his near post.
Latics somehow survived the late scares and they hung on for their first away three points since the win at Leeds United on 19 April 2019.
Incredibly Latics’ last three away victories have come in three different years 2018, 2019 and now 2020.
The 511 supporters who travelled to St Andrew’s deserve great credit and this result should be dedicated to every one of them.
But Latics are still in trouble and this victory shouldn’t be allowed to mask the manager’s and team’s failings.
With the score at 2-1 to Latics Cook brought on the 35-year-old Gary Roberts for Michael Jacobs, when the obvious replacement would’ve been Joe Gelhardt who had been so outstanding as a substitute against Nottingham Forest.
Cook continues to defy all logic by denying the talented Gelhardt a starting place in the team.
Latics continue to struggle at set-pieces and with their game management, despite having 3-1 lead they could easily have drawn or even lost this game as Birmingham wasted some very good opportunities in the last 15 minutes.
Windass managed to get on the scoresheet against Birmingham but the forwards are not scoring enough and the team do not have a regular goalscorer in the team.