- Wigan Athletic’s new team have started the season with surprising success and they are improving game by game.
- Doncaster went ahead on 22 minutes when Tommy Rowe converted former Latic Joe Dodoo’s pass.
- Latics weren’t ruffled by the setback and quickly responded when Will Keane headed home Max Power’s well-executed free-kick.
- Early in the second half Keane added a second when he converted following Power’s cross and Callum Lang’s knock down.
- The hosts controlled the remaining minutes and could have added to their lead but Lang blazed over from a good position.
- Latics move up to second place in League One while Doncaster remain rooted to the bottom of the table.
Leam Richardson made two changes to his side from the 1-0 victory over Portsmouth, with Max Power and James McClean coming back into the starting XI to replace Tom Pearce and Jordan Jones.
Former Latics players Joe Dodoo, Jordy Hiwula and Kyle Knoyle started for the Doncaster while Dan Gardner was on the bench.
The hosts started strongly and Lang fired over the crossbar.
Doncaster created an opportunity when former Latic Knoyle looked to find Dodoo at the back post, but the striker couldn’t quite make contact and Ben Amos was able to collect.
The visitors were ahead after 20 minutes when a throw-in was hooked into the area by Dodoo with Latics’ defence static and Rowe was free to volley into the net from 12-yards-out.
But Latics were unruffled and responded quickly. Power delivered a superb free-kick into the six-yard box and the unmarked Keane headed home.
Latics’ set-pieces were causing the visitors plenty of problems and from a McClean corner Kell Watts’ header forced an excellent fingertip save from Pontus Dahlberg after Jack Whatmough had headed back across the goal.
From Power’s next corner Tom Naylor headed narrowly over the crossbar at the near post.
Just before the interval Charlie Wyke was brought down just outside of the area by Ro-Shaun Williams. McClean’s subsequent free-kick was fired wide of Dahlberg’s left-hand post.
The second half started with Latics dominating possession and they went close again when Power’s set-piece found Watts and the Newcastle loanee’s header forced another superb one handed save from the Rovers keeper.
Latics went ahead on 52 minutes when Keane added his second of the game and his third of the season.
Power’s inviting cross found Lang, who headed into the path of Keane, who turned smartly and slotted past Dahlberg. Rovers appealed for offside but the referee and linesman were in agreement and the goal stood.
Latics looked like they would increase their lead and Lang forced another good save from Dahlberg from distance.
The game continued to be dominated by Latics, and in the 70th minute Lang had an opportunity to seal the points but he fired wide of the angle of post and crossbar from about nine yards out.
Late pressure from Doncaster never really materialised and Latics ran out comfortable winners.
This had been another strong team performance against a hardworking Doncaster team. Defensively Latics had been very solid with Whatmough and Watts outstanding. They now have strength in depth all over the pitch and the competition for a starting place can only be healthy for the team’s progress.
Leam Richardson was pleased with how his team responded to going behind and although he would liked to have added to the lead he was happy with the overall performance.
Max Power was rightly proud on his 150th appearance for the club and he produced an accomplished performance on the day.
“It’s something I’m really proud of,” he said.
“It’s no secret how much I enjoy playing for the club. It’s a fantastic club and you see how many ex-players come back and I’m sure I won’t be the last to do it.
“I’m glad that I’m back, and I now want to show the Wigan fans that I have come back a better player.
“It’s a proud day for me to hit that milestone with my family here. Hopefully, I can stay fit now and reach more milestones.”