Latics slip deeper into trouble – Wigan Athletic 0 Portsmouth 1

Curtis Tilt

Curtis Tilt went close for Latics

* Wigan Athletic slipped to second bottom in the League One table as they lost 1-0 to promotion chasing Portsmouth at the DW Stadium.

* Latics enjoyed the greater possession and had more shots than Pompey but they failed to make their dominance count.

* Substitute Andy Cannon’s excellent 25-yard strike on 46 minutes was the difference between the two teams.

* Curtis Tilt went closest for the hosts when his goalbound strike was cleared off the line in the first half but Latics failed to test Pompey keeper Craig MacGillivray throughout.

* Latics drop to 23rd place and are now three points from safety. Portsmouth are in fourth spot in the table.

Latics were unchanged from the 1-0 defeat at Gillingham on Wednesday. Pompey were also unchanged from their last game a 2-1 victory against Rochdale on Friday. Former Latic midfielder Michael Jacobs started for the visitors.

The hosts made a good start despite the windy and difficult conditions and they pushed the visitors back into defence.

Latics were dominating possession and created a sustained period of pressure around the 20 minute mark.

Lee Evans free kick from the left ricocheted off a Pompey defender and the ball fell to Tilt in a central position in the box but the centre half’s shot was cleared off the line to safety.

Despite their greater possession the hosts were unable to make their territorial pressure count as the final cross or shot just wasn’t good enough.

Just before the break the visitors might’ve taken the lead when Marcus Harness’ cutback set up Ryan Williams’ strike from the edge of the box which was brilliantly saved by Jamie Jones diving low to his left.

All level at half time but Latics had a rude awakening at the start of the second half.

Andy Cannon replaced Michael Jacobs at the interval and the substitute made an immediate impact when he drove forward unchallenged before unleashing an unstoppable strike from 25-yards into the top right corner.

Latics tried to respond and Viv Solomon-Otabor fired over the crossbar on 48 minutes and then Thelo Aasgaard did well to get to the byeline and cut the ball back, with MacGIllivray slow to react, but no Latics player could capitalise in the box.

Callum Lang’s shot from the edge of the area was then deflected wide of the far post for a corner, but Latics continued to fail to hit the target and Evans’ delivery from set pieces was very poor.

At the other end Jones was called upon to make an important save from a rare Pompey attack when Cannon found Williams at the back post and Jones clawed the ball away from a tight angle.

Will Keane replaced Aasgaard on 67 minutes but Latics were ponderous in their build up play and set piece opportunities were wasted.

The hosts had to play across the pitch too often and they were unable to break through the banks of Pompey defenders. 

Dan Gardner replaced Solomon-Otabor on 78 minutes and Lang had to be withdrawn with a head injury on 83 minutes and replaced by Joe Dodoo.

Jamie Proctor appeared to be held in the box on 85 minutes as he went for Evans’ through ball but referee Tom Nield waved away Latics’ penalty appeals. 

Despite creating intense pressure and seven minutes of added time Latics were unable create a decent goalscoring opportunity and Pompey stood resolute. 

Another frustrating result for Latics after they had been the dominant outfit against promotion chasing Pompey.

Danny Cowley’s team had defended well and had created chances on the break, but Latics’ failure to trouble the visitors keeper throughout proved to be the difference.

Latics have now gone three consecutive games without a goal and their lack of cutting edge has been their downfall.

The head injury to striker Lang is a big worry and may rule him out for a while. But if Latics don’t rediscover their scoring boots soon they will surely be destined for League Two.

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About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in Andy Cannon, Curtis Tilt, League One, Portsmouth, Wigan Athletic and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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