- Wigan Athletic produced a magnificent second half performance to comeback and defeat promotion-chasing Wycombe Wanderers 3-1 at Adams Park.
- The Chairboys went ahead through Sullay Kaikai’s smart drive from the edge of the box on 22 minutes.
- Latics went close when Will Keane hit the crossbar but they never really clicked into gear until the second half when they were by far the dominant force.
- Max Power’s 35-yard free-kick was spilled by David Stockdale and Tom Naylor was on hand to head home the rebound and draw Latics level on 70 minutes before a Callum Lang brace on 78 and 82 minutes gave the visitors an impressive victory.
- Latics remain in second place in the table six points behind leaders Rotherham with two games in hand and they are three points ahead of third place MK Dons with three games in hand. Wycombe drop to seventh place in the table one point behind Sunderland.
Leam Richardson made two changes to the team which drew at Rotherham on Friday night with Will Keane and Tendayi Darikwa replacing Stephen Humphrys and Jason Kerr.
Latics started quickly with James McClean breaking quickly from defence and forcing a corner in the first minute.
But the hosts gradually asserted their long ball game and Sam Vokes and Brandon Hanlan were causing Latics defence plenty of problems. Vokes fired over the crossbar from the edge of the box on six minutes and he had another flicked effort from near the penalty spot narrowly wide after nine minutes.
Latics were struggling for their usual cohesion and failed to create many chances in the early stages.
The omens were not good for the visitors as the hosts continued to threaten as Lewis Wing fired over from just outside the box on 18 minutes and four minutes later Wycombe were ahead.
David Stockdale’s long goalkick was cushioned back by Vokes and Kaikai’s low drive found the bottom corner of the net.
Latics tried to respond and Keane set up Lang whose low shot was well saved by Stockdale on 29 minutes.
Keane produced a brilliant turn inside the box to find space but crashed his powerful left foot shot against the crossbar in the 34th minute.
The hosts aerial bombardment continued to be their biggest threat with Vokes winning far too many headers inside the Latics box.
1-0 to Wycombe at half time and Latics would need to show a major improvement in the second half if they were to win the game.
Latics improvement was marked right from the start of the second period as they began to dominate possession and to control the game.
Lang was lively and drove forward into the box but was unable to make enough space for a shot before McClean’s dangerous cross was well saved by Stockdale low down at his near post.
Power produced a surging run forward on 55 minutes and set up Gavin Massey whose low strike from 20-yards beat the diving Stockdale but crashed against the base of the post.
Gwion Edwards and Stephen Humphrys replaced Josh Magennis and Massey on 61 minutes as Latics upped the tempo.
Latics were playing some scintillating football now with some great interplay between the midfielders and forwards. Lang’s cross was well saved by the Chairboys goalkeeper at his near post on 62 minutes.
On 70 minutes Latics were awarded a free-kick 35-yards out and Power’s dipping strike was spilled by Stockdale and Naylor headed the equaliser from close range.
The momentum was with the visitors now and from McClean’s in-swinging corner Lang fired home at the back post to put them ahead.
Soon afterwards the Latics Academy graduate showed great determination by driving forward and winning a fifty fifty challenge inside the box before firing into the bottom corner of the Wycombe net.
During the Latics post goal celebrations Stockdale should’ve been red carded for punching Power as he ran to join the celebrations. A lucky escape for the Wycombe goalkeeper as the referee appeared not to see the incident.
There were over eight minutes of added time, partly due to a head injury to Josh Scowen, but Latics ran out comfortable winners after a magnificent second half display.
Despite a poor opening half they had once again showed their great character and ability to raise their game when it was required.
Latics manager Richardson was rightly full of praise for his team after the game.
“I thought the lads showed great character to get the win,”
“It was always going to be a very tough game, Gareth (Ainsworth) has been here a long time and they’ve put together a very good squad, with a lot of players from last year in the Championship.
“I thought we grew into the game and, after going behind, we imposed ourselves and when the chances came we took them.
“We spoke at half-time about wanting to penetrate better in certain areas, be more aggressive, and we managed to do that.”