- Latics kept the pressure on league leaders Plymouth Argyle with a comfortable 2-0 victory against ten-man Burton Albion.
- James McClean put the hosts ahead with an accomplished volley from Tendayi Darikwa’s cross after nine minutes.
- The visitors were reduced to ten-men when Jonny Smith was sent off in the 15th minute for a dangerous high foot on Curtis Tilt.
- Early in the second half Tilt sealed the three points with a spectacular strike from 25-yards.
- Latics move up to second place in the League One table and the Brewers drop to ninth place.
Latics’ FA Cup winning manager Roberto Martinez was in attendance as the hosts looked to get back to winning ways against the Brewers.
Leam Richardson made three changes to the starting line up against Lincoln City with Jason Kerr, Tilt and Charlie Wyke, replacing Kell Watts, Tom Naylor and Callum Lang.
The hosts started on the front foot and McClean cut inside before hitting a low shot towards the Brewers goal, but it was easily saved by goalkeeper Ben Garratt.
Latics were ahead in the 10th minute following an excellent move down the right hand side.
Tom Bayliss found Darikwa in space and the captain delivered an inviting ball to the far post that was met by McClean’s superb left-footed volley.
Burton tried to respond and Jonny Smith’s deflected shot from outside of the area went for a corner.
In the 15th minute the Brewers were somewhat harshly reduced to ten-men by referee Carl Brook for Smith’s dangerously high foot on Tilt.
Latics pressed to increase their advantage and Bayliss curled an effort over the crossbar before Garratt did well keep out Will Keane’s first-time effort.
McClean lofted a high cross to the back post, but it was flicked behind for a corner with Darikwa ready to pounce. Power fired over from the resulting corner.
Latics were totally dominant now and chances were coming in quick succession.
Stephen Humphrys saw his effort from close-range well-blocked before Power then tried his luck again from distance and Garrett did well to push away his swerving effort.
Just before half-time Power put in an excellent cross from a deep position towards Wyke, but Conor Shaughnessy was able to stamp out the danger.
Latics continued to dominate in the second half with some fine attacking play.
The hosts doubled their lead in the 51st minute with a very special goal from Rotherham loanee Tilt.
Humphrys cut the ball back from the byline and Tilt strode forward and unleashed an unstoppable volley from 25-yards which flew into the corner of the net. Quite an exceptional goal.
The hosts could easily have won by four or five goals and Aasgaard’s long-range effort was deflected wide before Humphrys dragged his shot wide after he created space for himself in the area.
Latics had been comfortable winners but the sending off had helped to give them the opportunity to cruise to the three points.
Leam Richardson had to re-jig his starting eleven through injuries and suspensions but his squad had come through with flying colours.
Richardson’s change in formation to 3-5-2 had proved effective with new starters Kerr and Tilt working well alongside Jack Whatmough in defence.
It will be interesting to see if he retains this formation for the trip to Fleetwood on Tuesday night when Latics will looking to match their club record of six consecutive away wins.
Afterwards Richardson praised the players who had just come into the team.
“Within the season – it’s something that we’ve spoken about – you have to got to be flexible and adaptable. We’ve had a lot of games in quick succession and our energy levels were a little bit tapered on Tuesday, and then there were injuries and suspensions.
“It’s important that we are able to adapt and overcome certain things and adapt to certain situations and respect the opposition because they do offer a physical task.
“It’s a really big compliment for the likes of Curtis Tilt and Jason Kerr because they’ve waited and been such fantastic professionals. They’ve waited for their turn and trained really hard.
“It’s my pressure to get them in the team – not their pressure – but it was their pressure to train right, live right and support the team when it’s not their turn because today they needed everybody to support and they got that.”