Lethargic Latics suffer first away defeat – Hull City 2 Wigan Athletic 1

Will Keane

Will Keane gave Latics the lead

  • Wigan Athletic lost their unbeaten away record with a 2-1 defeat at Hull City.
  • Latics had taken the lead in the 14th minute when Will Keane headed home Thelo Aasgaard’s inviting cross at the near post.
  • Hull equalised in the 21st minute when Dimitris Pelkas headed in at the far post from Lewie Coyle’s deep cross. They went ahead in the 65th minute when Oscar Estupinan headed powerfully past Ben Amos from a corner.
  • Despite some late Latics pressure Hull held on for their first win after five defeats.
  • Latics drop to 12th place in the Championship table and Hull move up to 17th place.

Latics made one change to the starting XI that had defeated Rotherham on Saturday with Josh Magennis replacing Charlie Wyke.

Both teams made a hesitant start at the MKM Stadium with passes going astray.

The hosts threatened first in the 12th minute when Cyrus Christie couldn’t quite reach a dangerous cross into the box. 

The first bit of quality resulted in Latics taking the lead in the 14th minute. Ryan Nyambe and Aasgaard combined down the right-hand side and from Aasgaard’s inviting cross Keane headed home at the near post.

But Hull were level just seven minutes later when Coyle’s deep cross to the far post found Pelkas who headed past Amos.

In a scrappy encounter Latics struggled to find their usual rhythm, misplacing passes and losing 50/50 tackles.  

Max Power’s free-kick from 35-yards on 31 minutes forced a save from Nathan Baxter but Latics rarely threatened in the first half.

The hosts nearly went ahead on 39 minutes when Alfie Jones header from a corner was superbly turned over the crossbar by Amos.

1-1 at half time.

Latics were a little improved at the start of the second-half and they could have restored their lead in the 51st minute when Power’s curling cross was turned towards goal by Keane but the Republic of Ireland striker’s effort was well saved by Baxter.

Aasgaard then tried his luck from the edge of the area but his effort was high and wide of the target.

Hull were still the more combative team and Latics were making too many mistakes and giving away far too many corners. From a corner in the 65th minute they gained the advantage. Former Latic Callum Elder’s corner was headed powerfully by Estupinan from the centre of the box past Amos.

It was probably the time for Leam Richardson to make changes but the substitutions didn’t come until 10 minutes later when Graeme Shinnie, Tendayi Darikwa and Charlie Wyke replaced Naylor, Aasgaard and Broadhead. 

Christie fired wide at the back post wide for Hull on 77 minutes and then at the other end Magennis headed tamely at Baxter from a good position a minute later.

Wyke fired wide from a half-chance on the edge of the area on 80 minutes as Latics strived to get on level terms.

Ashley Fletcher replaced Magennis on 87 minutes and the Watford loanee looped a header over the crossbar two minutes later. Keane then headed a Power long-throw towards goal but Jack Whatmough was unable to make contact at the back post 

In added time there were appeals for a penalty when Baxter collided with Wyke in the area, but referee Andy Woolmer waved away the appeals.

Latics excellent away run had come to an end after a lacklustre performance. They had not been at their best and they will feel this was an opportunity lost against a team who had been low in confidence.

They will need to be much improved on Saturday as they seek to overcome their poor home form against Cardiff City.

Not at the races

Too many Latics players had an off day against Hull City. There was not much between the two sides but the hosts were generally the sharper and more combative in the tackle. The Latics players had made mistakes and gave the ball away far too easily.  

Josh Magennis was left isolated upfront and Latics long ball tactics generally proved ineffective. By the time Graeme Shinnie and Charlie Wyke were introduced in the 75th minute they were already chasing the game. On another day they might have secured at least a point by creating late chances, but overall the team had performed well below their usual standards.

Richardson will be looking for a major improvement against Cardiff, as they go in search of their first home victory. I’m expecting some changes in the starting line-up with Shinnie and Wyke likely to play, but also James McClean is probably due a rest.

Post match comments

Speaking afterwards, Richardson was naturally disappointed that his side fell on the wrong side of the result, though he believed that their effort levels on the night could not be questioned. 

“On reflection of the result, it’s disappointing,” he said.

“It’s probably a 1-1 game, and we suffered to a set piece and a cross which we normally deal with. 

The first question I always ask myself with the group is could they have given anymore. The lads certainly tried and you could see it until the last kick of the ball.”

“We are still on a journey, and making small steps forward as a group. We’re not going to reach the top of the mountain overnight,” he said.

“The Championship is there for all to see, and we’ve played a number of games against a mixed bag of teams. Fair credit to Hull City for the win tonight but we will win together and learn together.”

Player ratings

Player ratings courtesy of Whoscored.com

About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in Championship, Dimitris Pelkas, Hull City, Leam Richardson, Oscar Estupinan, Wigan Athletic, Will Keane and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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