A superb run and finish by Micheal Jacobs in a rain sodden Scunthorpe yesterday saw the Latics gain a draw but their second half performance merited so much more so dominant were the Lancashire side.
Wigan made two changes from Monday’s victory at Fleetwood with fan favourite Wildschut taking his place on the left wing with McCann being recalled into the unfamiliar left wing back role with Love and James both dropping down to the bench.
Scunthorpe started the more brightly with the pacy Van Veen, Madden and Williams causing problems for the Wigan defence. Scunthorpe gave Wigan warning of their attacking prowess when Bishop was allowed to run across the edge of the penalty area, the eventual shot going wide of the post. Wigan hit back with a Wildschut shot forcing Daniels into a smart save.
Scunthorpe used more direct tactics, playing long high balls for Williams and Madden to chase whilst Wigan seemed content to try and play the ball out from the centre halves but all too often, pressure from the Scunthorpe forward line forced Jussi onto snap kicks which heaped pressure on the away defence.
Scunthorpe’s long ball tactic saw the home side go ahead when Bishop ran along the edge of the penalty area again, passed out wide to Laird whose cross was tapped in by the onrushing Williams leaving Jaaskelainen with no chance.
Wigan reacted well to going behind, Power found space in midfield and his snap shot went over the bar from the edge of the penalty area. Then Wildschut had a shot but failed to trouble Daniels.
Scunthorpe looked comfortable at this time, soaking up Wigan’s pressure and it took a piece of individual brilliance to break down their resolute defence. A beautiful ball from the creative Power found Jacobs wide on the right, he cut inside and raced unchallenged to the edge of the penalty area where he fired a low hard shot into the bottom left hand corner of the net to send the large travelling away following wild with delight.
The rest of the half was pretty much a stalemate with both sides endevaours cancelling each other out, the only half chance falling to Van Veen whose shot was saved by Jaaskelainen but the keeper couldn’t hold onto the ball which went away for a corner which came to nothing.
Latics started the second half on the front foot, pouring forwards in search of the lead and there were shouts for a penalty when Perkins shot hit the arm of Mirfin but Mr Sarginson waved away the appeals from the Wigan team and fans. This set the tempo for the second half and next it was Wildschut’s turn with a fantastic run down the left who drove int he box but wasted the chance by shooting to the narrow side of the goal with Grigg being better placed in the centre.
Wigan’s next chance came as a result of the industry of man of the match Michael Jacobs whose superb run down the left saw a powerful low cross come over which the keeper failed to reach and sadly for Wigan so did Kellett whose outstretched lunge must have missed the ball by inches for a simple tap in.
Latics threatened again in the 57th minute, firstly when Jacobs set up Kellett inside the box on the right but his looped cross was just too high for Wildschut. The same too combined seconds later Jacobs, this time on the left wove past two defenders and Kellett narrowly failed to get a toe to his low cross.
The next real chance fell to the substitute Hiwula whose shot was blocked on the line by Mirfin with Daniels well beaten. Next it was Wildschut’s turn with another run down the left but this time the big Dutchman cut inside and his shot skewed wide of the post.
Jacobs turned provider again when a run down the left led to a superb cross from virtually on the deadball line, the ball eluded both attackers and defenders with a frantic lunge by Pearce whose faintest of touch saw the ball trickle towards the goal to be cleared by the home defence to the anguish of the Latic’s fans behind the goal
Scunthorpe had a chance to steal the three points but Jaaskelainen was equal to the task saving from a shot from the edge of the area by Dawson following a free kick due to a foul by Power.
There was one final chance for Wigan but Jacobs header lacked power and was comfortably saved by Daniels.
The full time whistle saw the home side more content with the point earned and based on the second half chances, Wigan fans would be quite correct to consider it two points dropped.
Team Line Up and Player Ratings
Jaaskelainen…….6, poor distribution, a couple of good saves
McCann…………..5, played out of position and it showed
Daniels……………6, defended well and looked to push forwards
Kellett…………….6, nearly scored, withdrawn
Power…………….7, a creative gem
Wildschut………..6, some powerful runs but tended to drift out of the game
Jacobs……………8, class, a wonderful goal and some fine creative play
Hiwula ( for Kellett)……5, unpredictable
First half………..4/10, moribund, like a dead Norwegian parrot.
Second half……8/10, fast paced and entertaining.
Attendance ……..4, 102
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