Match Reports

High Fives as Wigan hit the top spot

A five star performance by an irrepressible Wigan side saw the Latics hit the top of the league at a sun kissed Shrewsbury yesterday.

Wigan made two changes for the game, McAleny and Daniels returning to the first eleven in place of Colclough and injured captain Morgan.

Shrewsbury have been in good form themselves of late and both sides looked to take the game to the other with Wigan suffering more than the home side from the narrow pitch which hampered the Latics expansive play. Even allowing for this Wigan dominated the play with a few dangerous runs from Wildschut causing his usual panic in the opposition defence.

It came as a surprise therefore when Shrewsbury opened the scoring. A speculative ball forwards from Wellens saw Pearce intercept the ball in his own penalty area. Under pressure from Vassall his overhit back pass to Jaakelainen spooned out for a corner. The corner came over and Wabara moved to intercept hit, made a total hash of it and the ball rolled loose and Kaikai prodded the ball home.

Wigan hit back almost immediately when a neat lay off by Grigg found McAleny in space midway in the Shrewsbury half. A neat chest and shot saw the ball fly into the net past a despairing Halstead in the Shrewsbury goal and Wigan were level sending their large good natured away following wild with delight.

Wigan continued to dominate and could have gone in ahead before the break when Grigg again fed the ball to McAleny but his shot was blocked by Shrewsbury defender Whitbread.

Shrewsbury started the second half the brighter and Wigan were on the back foot for the first ten minutes of the second half without ever looking in real danger of conceding a second goal and they ended this period of domination in style. This time it was McAleny turning the provider with his decisive running opening up the Shrews defence following yet another neat pass from Grigg, his shot rebounded off the post to Wildschut whose shot on his weaker right foot, deflected off one Shrewsbury defender into the net via the head of a second and Wigan had the lead that their play deserved.

Wigan haven’t scored from many concerns this season but set about redressing the balance when Power’s corner was met unchallenged by the head of Wigan captain Pearce who headed the ball into the net.

Three soon became four when Black was dispossessed in midfield by Wildschut, the resultant ball fell to Grigg whose powerful run into the penalty area was ended by the lunge from Whitbread, the tackle earning Wigan a penalty and the Shrews defender a red card.

Grigg scored from the spot, despite Halstead diving the right way to score his 18th of the season further justifying the million pounds spent on signing him in the summer.

From then on it was Barca type exhibition football to the accompaniment of “Oleys” from the Wigan faithful but there was still time for a fantastic save by Halstead to deny Power and then Jacobs making a welcome return from injury fed the ball wide to Power whose cross was met by Grigg for a close tap in.

The full time whistle brought to an end an excellent afternoon for Wigan , now top of the league for the first time this season.

Team Line up and Player Ratings

Jaaskelainen …….6, a shouted at his defenders….. a lot.
Wabara……………..6, at fault for the goal, withdrawn
Daniels……………..7, solid at the back, attacked with gusto
Pearce……………..9, MOM, led by example and a good goal
Warnock……………7, never missed a step
Morsy……………….8, solid, unfussy controlled
Power……………….8,class
Perkins………………8,tenacious in defence, creative in attack.
Wildschut…………..7, looked dangerous every time he touched the ball, withdrawn
McAleny……………8, a wonder strike and some superb play, withdrawn
Grigg…………………8, two good goals, great anticipation and superb link up play

Subs Used
Barnett for Wabara………………..6, solid
McCann for McAleny …………….6.5, solid and competent
Jacobs for Wildschut……………. 7, a welcome return, provided some class

Att……………….7,010

Entertainment Rating……….10/10, fantastic afternoon



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