- Latics produced a masterful away performance with a 2-0 victory at Charlton Athletic.
- The visitors created numerous chances and were denied by at least five quality saves by home keeper Craig MacGillivray until captain Tendayi Darikwa broke the deadlock and headed his first goal for the club in the 88th minute.
- In the 95th minute substitute James McClean making his second debut for Latics added a second goal and sealed the three points.
Leam Richardson named the same team that had drawn with Wycombe Wanderers on Tuesday night. Gwion Edwards and new signing McClean were on the bench.
The Addicks had FA Cup hero Ben Watson in their starting line-up and former Latic Jason Pearce on the bench alongside recent trialist Corey Blackett-Taylor.
The hosts exerted some early pressure from long throw-ins but Latics held firm and soon started to assert their authority.
In the 11th minute Callum Lang’s cross found Jordan Jones on the left side of the box but the winger could only steer his header against the crossbar.
Two minutes later Jones produced an excellent delivery and Will Keane forced a save from MacGillivray.
Latics continued to force the pace and from a Max Power free-kick Newcastle loanee Kell Watts had a header well saved by the Addicks keeper.
Around the half hour mark the hosts started to gain a foothold in the game and enjoyed more possession.
But it was the visitors who ended the half more strongly and from another Jones quality delivery Tom Naylor’s header was well parried away by MacGillivray.
In the second half the hosts threatened when Charlie Kirk’s shot was turned around the post by Ben Amos and Jayden Stockley set up an another opportunity for Kirk who should have finished at close range.
Richardson replaced Lang and Jones with McClean and Gavin Massey on 63 minutes and McClean was soon in the action firing his right footed shot just wide of the post.
MacGillivray came to the Addicks rescue again soon afterwards when Charlie Wyke’s header from Power’s cross was heading for the corner but the keeper managed to push it away.
Adam Matthews had a strike from the edge of the box which went wide of the target on 87 minutes, but a minute later Latics deservedly took the lead when Power’s excellent deep cross found Darikwa who had stolen in at the back post to head home past MacGillivray.
Stephen Humphrys replaced Keane on 92 minutes and three minutes later his defence splitting through ball set up McClean who took the ball around MacGillivray before finishing with ease and putting the seal on a brilliant away performance.
Manager Richardson was rightly delighted with the performance.
“First and foremost, I am made up with the result; I think the result comes on reflection of Tuesday’s performance.
“The 711 fans who came today, the way they sang, kept behind the team and helped the momentum shift towards the end of the game so to score two goals in front of them right in front of them at the end made for a fantastic afternoon.
“I thought we started the game ever so well and their keeper made three big saves and they possibly took control towards the end of the first half.
“We came out second half, imposed ourselves a little bit and then with the goals towards the end of the game, I thought we finished the game strongly.
“I felt we came away with our just rewards.”
It was a rare victory for Latics in London and the result was especially pleasing given that the team has only been together for a few weeks. If they can continue improving and if they can add a few more players they will surely be challenging at the top of the table.