- Wigan Athletic consolidated their place in the automatic promotion places with a 2-1 victory against Charlton Athletic at the DW Stadium.
- The Addicks were in front on seven minutes when Elliott Lee headed home and they might have increased their advantage when former Latic Alex Gilbey hit the crossbar soon afterwards.
- Latics should’ve had a penalty when Josh Magennis was brought down in the area but referee Tom Nield waved away Latics’ appeals. However, on 26 minutes Callum Lang was tripped in the box and this time the referee pointed to the penalty spot and Will Keane converted the spot kick to restore parity.
- Latics upped their game in the second half and they deservedly went ahead on 74 minutes when Max Power’s deep corner was headed back by Jack Whatmough and substitute Stephen Humphrys poked home from close range.
- The visitors battled to the end but Latics held out to increase the pressure on leaders Rotherham who play Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday.
- Latics are now six points behind Rotherham with two games in hand and two points ahead of third place MK Dons but with four games in hand. Charlton drop to 14th place in the table.
Leam Richardson made two changes to the team which lost at Sheffield Wednesday with Jason Kerr and Keane replacing Graeme Shinnie and Jamie McGrath.
Latics had an early opportunity when Curtis Tilt headed James McClean’s right-sided corner over the crossbar.
But the visitors were ahead on seven minutes when Lee headed Adam Matthews’ inviting cross into the top right corner in the seventh minute.
The Addicks threatened to add to their lead in the 15th minute when Gilbey crashed an effort against the crossbar from inside the box. Latics breathed a huge sigh of relief and it seem to spark them into action.
Callum Lang forced his way into the penalty area on the right side but his cross was cut out by Craig MacGillivray before the ball could reach Keane.
Latics appeared to have won a penalty soon afterwards when Magennis was taken down in the box but referee Nield waved away appeals.
But in the 25th minute Latics were awarded a penalty when when Lang was tripped in the area by Sean Clare.
Keane calmly drove his spot kick high into centre of the net for his 16th goal of the season.
Latics were visibly lifted by the goal and looked the more dangerous team now although Clare’s cross from the right-hand side had to be dealt with by Ben Amos.
Lang was once again the catalyst for Latics’ best moves and he created a great opportunity for himself in the 36th minute after he allowed Tom Naylor’s excellent pass to roll across his body inside the penalty area but he was denied by an excellent last-ditch block from Ben Purrington.
1-1 at half time but Latics had started to click into gear in the latter stages of the first half.
Latics started the second half strongly and Tilt pushed forward on several occasions and in the 63rd minute the former Rotherham player evaded two defenders on the left before cutting onto his right foot inside the area but his low effort was turned behind for a corner.
Latics then had a big chance when McClean’s early cross was knocked towards the far post by Lang but the ball just evaded the diving Magennis who was just six-yards out.
Humphrys replaced Keane in the 71st minute and just three minutes later he gave Latics the lead.
Power’s corner was headed back across goal by Whatmough and Humphrys was on hand to poke the ball home from close range.
But Latics did not sit on the lead and looked to increase their advantage. They were determined to take all three points and there was some tremendous tackling from Whatmough, Tilt and Tom Naylor in particular.
McClean produced a superbly driven ball across the face of the goal but Magennis was unable to make the vital connection inside the six yard box.
As the clock ticked down Humphrys fired a powerful effort from 25-yards out but it was well pushed away by MacGillivray.
Despite five minutes of added time Latics held out comfortably and Amos was left untroubled despite the visitors best efforts.
After a shaky opening period Latics had been the better side and they had showed great determination, skill and resilience to get back to winning ways after the midweek blip at Sheffield Wednesday.
The games continue to come thick and fast with Crewe at home on Tuesday before they travel to Rotherham on Friday for a top of the table clash.
Afterwards Richardson speaking to the media praised his side’s efforts as they got back on track for automatic promotion.
“It was hard-fought, challenging in spells, but I thought we carried the momentum for most of the afternoon,” Richardson explained.
“The start of the game was obviously disappointing, but I thought the character and the response from the lads were fantastic.
“Charlton are obviously going to offer a real threat and keep you honest all afternoon, they’ve been going well themselves.
“I thought on the balance of play, we deserved the win today.
“The lads were on a fantastic run, they then lost their first away league game since the opening day of the season at Sheffield Wednesday, and the lads take full credit for that because of the hard work that they put in.
“Eleven players never win a league, never win a cup, it’s about the squad and we’ll need every player in our squad going forwards because we have a lot of healthy challenges going forwards as well, starting Tuesday.”
Stephen Humphrys came off the bench to get the decisive goal for Richardson’s side and Latics’ manager praised the forward’s impact.
“We know how important our squad is and it was great to have Will [Keane] back after a short time out,” he added.
“Stephen Humphrys came off the bench and we always say to the subs, either maintain or lift the levels, and thankfully Stephen has got the goal to win us the game today.
“From the outset, Josh Magennis, Will and Callum Lang led the line tirelessly all afternoon and Stephen gets the credit for their hard work. With his attributes, Stephen took the tempo of the game up a level as well.”