Latics in dire straits – Swindon Town 1 Wigan Athletic 0

Leam Richardson

Leam Richardson will be very disappointed with his team’s performance.

Wigan Athletic tamely surrendered to Swindon Town in the League One basement battle at the County Ground.

The hosts went in front on 17 minutes when Jamie Jones spilled Tyler Smith’s header and Brett Pitman followed up to head home from close range.

The Robins had further chances to increase their lead when Hallam Hope drove his shot straight at Jones, Pitman headed narrowly wide of the post and Jordan Lyden’s strike was cleared off the line by Tom Pearce.

Swindon were reduced to ten-men on 65 minutes when last man Dion Conroy fouled Will Keane on the edge of the area but despite having the extra man Latics failed to register a shot on target on the night.

This was a desperately disheartening performance by Latics which leaves them three points from safety while Swindon move out of the relegation zone and up to 19th place.

After a hectic January transfer window Leam Richardson made four changes to his starting eleven from the defeat against Blackpool with new additions Funso Ojo and Scott Wootton making their debuts and Curtis Tilt returning on loan from Rotherham. Dan Gardner also returned to the team after only being named as a substitute against Blackpool.

In difficult wet and windy conditions neither team settled in the opening 15 minutes but Swindon went ahead on 17 minutes with their first real attack.

Former Latic loanee Matty Palmer’s cross into the box found the unmarked Smith whose header was spilled by Jones and the veteran striker Pitman followed up to head home from close range.

Latics struggled to respond and it was the hosts who looked most likely to go further ahead as Hope’s right footed shot from inside the box was saved by Jones, Pitman’s header went tantalisingly wide of the post and Lyden’s strike was cleared off the line by Pearce.

Pearce was once again one of the few Latics players to emerge with any credit as he defended solidly and posed a threat going forward.

Latics were given a lifeline on 65 minutes when Conroy was dismissed for a red card offence on Keane but the visitors failed to exploit the extra man advantage.

The visitors enjoyed plenty of possession but failed to pose any real threat to the Swindon goal.

Substitute Thelo Aasgaard did give Latics a little more vim when he replaced the ineffective Zach Clough on 58 minutes.

The young Norwegian midfielder did manage to break into the box on 74 minutes but his shot was well blocked by the Swindon defence.

Tilt was pushed forward in added time as Latics went in search of the equaliser but an equaliser would have been underserved after such a toothless and dispiriting performance.

Richardson will be extremely disappointed with his team’s performance against a relegation rival and he will require all his motivational and coaching skills to ensure his team improve significantly against fellow strugglers AFC Wimbledon on Saturday and Northampton Town next Tuesday.

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About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in Brett Pitman, League One, Leam Richardson, Swindon Town, Tom Pearce, Wigan Athletic and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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