A dominant performance from Wigan Athletic in front of a large travelling away support saw the Latics secure their play off spot at the mid-point of the season. Manager Gary Caldwell had the luxury of being able to select the same side that dominated proceedings at Barnsley and with a week off due to the Boxing Day postponement the side showed no ill effects of the festive period. On the bench their were welcome returns for Vuckic and McCann.
Wigan dominated their opponents from the off with Kellett, Power and Jacobs in fine form, indeed within the first minute Wigan and their fans were claiming for a penalty when Kellett was felled in the area, the referee waving the appeals away. Kellett was involved again shortly afterwards when his free kick flew through the penalty area narrowly wide of the post Fleetwood are scrapping for survival and responded well with Jaaskelainen pushing away a Haughton corner away for another corner as Fleetwood looked to take advantage of Wigan’s perceived weakness in defending corners. Wigan stormed back and Power found Grigg with a precise direct ball , the striker taking advantage to outpace the defence but Maxwell in the Fleetwood goal kept his composure and blocked Grigg’s shot.
Wigan’s dominance finally told with a superb solo goal from exciting young midfielder Andy Kellett who broke from midfield, swerving past a couple of defenders and then shooting wide of the despairing dive from Maxwell into the net for a goal to grace a higher level of football. Jacobs nearly made it two with a powerful shot from outside the area which Maxwell did well to save and when the referee blew the whistle for half time it was the away side who left the pitch much the happier.
Wigan’s confidence carried on in the second half with danger man Grigg twice causing Maxwell to make smart saves and then from a corner, Daniels rose majestically to head the ball goal wards only to be thwarted by the crossbar. The woodwork saved Fleetwood again when a Power free kick rattled it
Fleetwood then gained an unlikely equaliser when Daniels was adjudged to have pulled down former Wigan triallist David Ball and Sarcevic blasted home the penalty to level the scores . Fleetwood were lifted by this and Jaaskelainen had to react smartly to save Hunter’s long range shot from outside the box. Caldwell then brought on a double substitution of Wildschut and Hiwula who immediately injected fresh impetus into the Latics game plan. McCann supplied Wildschut with a quality ball on the left, the Dutchman drove forwards and when his shot was only partially cleared, Hiwula was in the right place to slot the ball home.
Shortly afterwards Hiwula turned provider,feeding Jacobs who burst onto the young strikers ball and fired powerful shot past Maxwell to send the Latics fans wild with delight.
he full time whistle brought mass celebrations amongst the away fans for a thoroughly dominant and entertaining performance, setting the team up for the promotion campaign ahead.
Team Line Up…………..Jaaskelainen, James (Hiwula), Morgan, Pearce, Daniels, Love (McCann), Kellett (Wildschut), Perkins, Power, Jacobs, Grigg,
Entertainment Rating……………7/10, a good way to burn off the Christmas pud
Attendance ………….. 4,232
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