McClean’s quality proves decisive – Wigan Athletic 2 Crewe Alexandra 0

James McClean

  • Wigan Athletic edged closer to league one leaders Rotherham with a 2-0 victory against relegation threatened Crewe Alexandra.
  • Latics dominated but were denied by an in-form Crewe goalkeeper Dave Richards and some bad luck in the first half.
  • The hosts broke the deadlock on 57 minutes when James McClean’s superb left-wing delivery was headed home by Callum Lang.
  • The visitors rarely threatened and Latics confirmed the three points on 82 minutes when McClean produced a powerful drive into the far corner of the net.
  • Latics are now six points behind the leaders with two games in hand and are five points ahead of MK Dons with three games in hand. Crewe drop to the bottom of the table after Doncaster won at Lincoln.

Leam Richardson surprisingly only made two changes from Saturday’s victory against Charlton with Kell Watts and Gwion Edwards replacing Curtis Tilt and Jason Kerr in the starting lineup. The manager reverted to his usual 4-2-3-1 formation.

Ahead of the game there was a touching eulogy to Mr. Al Jasmi’s son, Muhammed who sadly passed away recently. 

Latics started confidently and Max Power’s free-kick was turned goalwards by Will Keane but goalkeeper Dave Richards produced an excellent save to deny him though it would not have counted as the flag was raised for offside. 

Keane had another chance soon afterwards as Josh Magennis applied pressure on the Alex defence and forced a mistake which resulted in the former Manchester United striker being presented with a shot on goal but his effort was unluckily deflected for a corner.

Crewe then had a rare foray forward when a deep free-kick was headed across goal to Chris Long who took a touch before firing his effort just wide of the post. 

Latics continued to dominate however and in the 25th minute Power’s free-kick was met by Magennis but his powerful header was well saved by Richards. 

McClean then blazed an effort well wide of the target when he did well to take down Lang’s lofted pass.

Richards then produced another excellent save to deny Kell Watts glancing header from Power’s free-kick.

Latics continued to pressurise and Power’s clever free-kick set Lang free on the right but his low cross shot evaded several Latics attackers and Watts who couldn’t quite make contact at the far post.

0-0 at half time with Latics frustrated by Richards and the football gods.

But Latics made the breakthrough in the 57th minute when McClean’s perfect cross was headed home by Lang at close range.

Latics didn’t sit on the lead but pushed forward for further goals and they nearly added to their lead when Watts’ low shot was spilled by Richards but substitute Stephen Humphrys was unable to capitalise as the Crewe goalkeeper was able to push the ball away.

With eight minutes remaining McClean demonstrated his quality with a decisive finish. The Republic of Ireland international produced a superb angled drive which flew past Richards into the back of the Crewe net.

Tom Lowery had a late chance for the Alex when he shot from the edge of the area but his effort was narrowly wide of the target.

Overall Latics had been by far the better outfit and they deservedly gained another three points in their quest for automatic promotion.

They increased their advantage over their promotion rivals and are now five points ahead of third place MK Dons with three games in hand.

Latics now face their third game in just seven days when they travel to leaders Rotherham on Friday night for what could prove to be a title decider.

Player ratings courtesy of

About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in Crewe Alexandra, League One, Leam Richardson, Wigan Athletic and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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