Wigan’s run of winless home matches extended to five months following a late strike from ex Liverpool player Conor Coady at the DW Stadium yesterday when a draw seemed the likely outcome in a tepid match low in class, creativity and chances. Wigan made two changes from the side which shared the spoils against Blackburn last week, with Huws and McManaman replacing Watson and Forshaw. Wigan started the more positive of the two sides and with McManaman back to his mercurial best on the right wing the away side were under pressure from the off. Not for the first time this season however, Wigan failed to create any clear cut chances and the big strong back four of Huddersfield worked hard to snuff out any half chances that came the way of the home side.
Wigan’s best effort it the early exchanges was a long range shot from McCann that was easily saved by Smithies in the Town goal. Shortly after McManaman again lost his marker and his powerful cross had to be cleared by the keeper with Waghorn waiting to pounce. Wigan’s early fizz faded and as it did Huddersfield began to assert themselves in tot he game with star player giving Taylor the sort of afternoon that the left back will have nightmares about. From one such foray, Scannell stole the ball off a too casual Taylor and his cross was headed towards the goal by the diminutive Wells, only for Ridgewell to clear the ball off the line with Carson well beaten. Latics defence had to be alert again a few minutes later when from a set piece, a Smith effort was subject to a goal line clearance, this time by Waghorn.
So lacking in attacking punch were Wigan that their best chance of a goal in the second part of the first half was a muted appeal for a penalty for handball in the Huddersfield box which the referee waved away. Half time came with the away side in the ascendancy although a goal for either side looked a remote possibility Wigan started the second half on fire, with key man Kvist dictating the play and Huws and McClean looking to push on towards the Town goal but once again the Wigan attacking prowess was blunted on the stoic no nonsense Terrier’s defence. Wigan’s best chance fell to McClean who rose unchallenged to meet a McManaman cross but could only head the ball over the bar. Shortly after Wigan once again appealed in vain for a penalty, the referee once again waving away their protestations. Other than that Wigan resorted in long high balls up field which were easily dealt with by the big industrious Huddersfield defence
The game turned on a double substitution, Wigan opted to replace McCann and Waghorn with Cowie and Fortune but rather than spur Wigan on to victory it appeared to hand the ascendancy to Huddersfield and with the prompting of Butterfield and Scanell, Huddersfield had three good opportunities all squandered by Wells with Vaughan better placed to score. Third substitute Delort looked lively when he came on, although starved of any real chances he was forced to try and create his own opportunities. From one of these the shot appeared to hit a Huddersfield arm but the referee Mr Martin clearly indicated that the arms were in a natural position. Delort remonstrated with the assistant a wee bit to vigorously, earning himself a yellow card for his troubles.
The game seemed to be heading for a draw when Carson had to react well to save from Butterfield, the ball was only half cleared and Coady picked it up on the left. To everyone’s amazement his cross looped into the Wigan net and Huddersfield had a fortuitous lead.
Wigan tried to respond but all their attacks were broken down without troubling Smithies and as the full time whistle sounded, several Latics players fell to the ground distraught that they hadn’t secured three points against a very average Huddersfield side. A result that leaves Wigan firmly rooted in the relegation places at least two wins away for safety.
The boos that accompanied the final whistle were muted, largely because a significant amount of the crowd had already left, with the pressure on Malky MacKay following one win in eleven games, earning him the worst win percentage of any Wigan Athletic manager since their entry into the football league Delort buoyed his side going forward, and had several encouraging efforts blocked by the Huddersfield defence, ensuring that Wigan continued to look the most likely to break the deadlock. However, as Latics continued to search for the winner, Huddersfield countered, and Conor Coady broke the hosts’ hearts with a speculative effort with just seven minutes left on the clock. Coady picked up the ball on the left hand side, and produced an effort from the edge of the area which beat everyone and curled straight into Scott Carson’s bottom corner to put the visitors infront. Malky Mackay’s men were visibly rocked by the late goal, but continued to press until the death, with Liam Ridgewell and even Scott Carson producing testing headers at Smithies goal, but the visitors held on to inflict another home defeat on Latics.
Team line up and player ratings
Carson….6, couldn’t be faulted for the goal
Perch…….6, solid at the back but lacked his usual forward momentum
Taylor……4, was given a torrid time by Scannell
Barnett……5, continues to struggle against pace
Ridgwell….6, worked hard and cleared well off the line
Kvist……….8, MOM, at the heart of all Wigan’s best play
Huws……..6, some good play but drifted in and out of the game
McCann…5, failed to impose himself on the game, withdrawn
McManaman….6, created some good chances but faded after the break, withdrawn
McClean…..6, quiet by his standards but never stopped trying
Waghorn……5, little chance to influence the game, withdrawn
Fortune for Waghorn…….5, spent too much time with his back to goal
Cowie for McCann……….5 contributed little
Delort for McManaman….5, ran around like an angry bee
Entertainment rating……5/10, a poor game between two poor teams
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