Latics keep Terriers in the doldrums –  Huddersfield Town 1 Wigan Athletic 2

The scene is set in Huddersfield

  • Wigan Athletic produced another impressive away performance with a 2-1 victory at the John Smith’s Stadium.
  • Will Keane put Latics ahead on 25 minutes from the penalty spot after Callum Lang had been brought down in the box by Luke Mbete.
  • Huddersfield drew level on 76 minutes through Tom Lees but Latics sealed their third consecutive away victory on 82 minutes when Lang turned in the box before firing past Lee Nicholls.
  • Latics moved up to eighth in the Championship table while the Terriers remain second bottom.

Leam Richardson made three changes from their 2-1 victory at Luton Town with Jamie Jones, Graeme Shinnie and Thelo Aasgaard all coming into the starting XI for Ben Amos, Jason Kerr and Tom Naylor.

Before the kick off, a minute of silence was well observed by both sets of supporters in tribute to Her late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.

Latics had their first attempt towards goal on 7 minutes when a cross was half cleared to James McClean on the edge of the area, but his right-footed effort was wide of the target.

The hosts wasted a huge opportunity to break the deadlock in the 16th minute when Duane Holmes’ low cross from the right-hand side was skied over the crossbar by the sliding Danny Ward inside the six-yard box.

Latics looked dangerous at the other end and they went ahead from the penalty spot in the 25th minute. 

Aasgaard’s perfect pass allowed Lang to race through on goal, and as the Latics striker was about to pull the trigger he was brought down by Mbete.

Keane confidently fired his spot kick high into the roof of the net. 

They had another good opportunity in the 37th minute. Josh Magennis did well to hold up the ball before pulling it back to Aasgaard, but the young Norwegian miscued his effort off target.

Max Power tried his luck from 20 yards but his volleyed effort was well wide. 

As half-time approached McClean’s left-sided cross, found Lang in the box but his header was comfortably saved by former Latics goalkeeper Lee Nicholls.

Early in the second half Latics almost doubled their lead.

Jack Whatmough met Power’s in-swinging corner at the far post, and his header came off the outside of the post. 

Aasgaard then had two great chances in a matter of minutes to add to Latics advantage. First, he curled his effort over the crossbar with Nicholls out of his goal, and then he headed Power’s free-kick over the crossbar.

The hosts responded when Jack Rudoni took aim from distance, but his powerful effort was was well held by Jones.

Lang, who was a threat throughout, had another huge chance when he latched onto Magennis’ flick but after taking it round the onrushing keeper the angle was too tight and Nicholls saved easily.

The hosts then had a strong spell as Latics retreated into defence.

Yuta Nakayama sliced an effort over from a great position and then from a free-kick situation, his curling effort was pushed over by Jones. 

But Huddersfield were level in the 75th minute. Curtis Tilt did brilliantly to hook substitute Jordan Rhodes’ effort off the line but Lees found the bottom corner with a low drive from the edge of the box. 

Danny Schofield’s team were now in the ascendancy and almost went in front but Rhodes’ rising strike came off the woodwork. 

Goalkeeper Jones then did superbly to block substitute Pat Jones’ fierce effort from point-blank range. 

It was now looking as though the hosts would take all three points but with eight minutes remaining it was Latics who sealed the points.

McClean pulled the ball back to Lang, and despite being surrounded by defenders he was able to turn in the box and fire a low effort, which wrong footed Nicholls, into the bottom corner of the net.

In a game of numerous chances for both teams Latics held on for a hard-fought away victory.

Latics on the attack

Impressive start to the season

Many people predicted that Latics would struggle in the Championship after promotion from League One, but they have made an impressive start to their campaign. After eight games they sit in eighth position and with a game in hand on some of the clubs around them.

They have only lost one game so far against Burnley and they have already won three games on the road.

The new signings have added greater competition for a starting place and there is now strength in depth. Lang has started the Championship campaign very strongly and was a constant threat against Huddersfield and Aasgaard is now starting to fulfil his undoubted potential.

Richardson will be pleased with his team’s progress but he will not be getting carried away as there will be stern tests ahead.

Post match comments

Speaking afterwards, Richardson was delighted with how his side remained undeterred by Lees’ 76th-minute equaliser and showed immense character to still go on to get the winner against the Terriers.

“It epitomises where they are at the minute, and long may that continue,” he said.

“To win away late again – we did it at Luton, Birmingham City and we’ve done it tonight – (is very pleasing).

“It’s a challenging place to come against a team that is full of good players, and we knew the challenge that was right in front of us.

I thought in the first half, we were excellent. I thought the game turned on (the missed chances) a little bit, but to respond from the equaliser, it’s a credit to the players and a credit to the staff. It’s great character and a great habit to have. 

I thought they worked hard enough to create that bit of luck, and to show the character to stay in the game, take the punches and go up the other end to get the winner. 

They’ve worked hard during the last 7-10 days, but I thought we were good value for the result. To come here, be competitive, and control the ball in large parts was pleasing.”

Latics were once again backed in numbers at John Smith’s Stadium, and Richardson reiterated that there is no better feeling for the players than being able to send the travelling supporters home with a smile on their faces.

“They can’t get enough of that (feeling),” he smiled.

“ The away support is fantastic, and to come away from home and score in front of your own fans – there is no better feeling for the lads.”

Player ratings

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About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in Callum Lang, Championship, Huddersfield Town, Leam Richardson, Tom Lees, Wigan Athletic, Will Keane and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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