A winner from Junior deep into injury time was a justifiable reward for a performance full of endeavour if a little short of class by Wigan Athletic in a game in which they were by far the better side but looked like it would be two points dropped.
Wigan made one change from the side which drew one all away at Bradford City on their last outing, Love being brought into the starting line up in place of Barnett, with Vuckic and Junior returning to the bench in place of the loaned out Holt and Pearce.
The game started at a frenetic pace and when a Power through ball found its way to Wildschut the big Dutchman continued with a powerful run and shot went narrowly wide of the goal. Wildschut was soon causing chaos in the Swindon defence once again when a another unstoppable run this time produced a cross which found Love but the United loanee couldn’t trouble the keeper.
Swindon Town arrived next to bottom of the league with no manager and the chairman picking the team and right from the off set about trying to disrupt Wigan’s more skilful play in the hope that they could create something themselves and the away side nearly did when Rodgers shot narrowly wide of the goal.
Latics continued to have the better of it however, and went close again five minutes later, when Jacobs broke through and was fouled, the referee played the advantage as the ball went to Grigg on the right flank. The striker controlled the ball well and his shot went narrowly wide of the far post.
Wigan were guilty of allowing Swindon too much space in midfield and Brophy took advantage of this and good work between Gladwin and the midfielder saw Gladwin’ shot come back off the post with Jaaskalienen well beaten.
That was Swindon’ s last real effort in the 90 mins as Wigan tore into them with Jacobs at the heart of all Wigan’s creative moves ably backed by the skilful Power and tenacious Perkins
Wigan’s next action again featured Wildschut whose shot forced a smart save out of Vigouroux at his near post. Chris McCann was the stand out player for Wigan and showed that he still hadn’t lost any of his ability to play in midfield when the big Irishman broke out of defence and powered forwards but unfortunately for Wigan he ultimately overran the ball
That chance was part of a quick flurry of three, with Grigg laying the ball off to McCann for an effort on the edge of the area a minute later, before Wildschut tried his luck once more on the left hand side with a poked effort from close range.
Wigan trooped off at half time no doubt as amazed as the fans that the score line remained at nil apiece but no doubt confident that they would convert their many chances into goals in the second half
Wigan continued to dominate in the second half charging forward at pace and the first chance fell to Grigg but his goalbound shot from a corner was scrambled clear on the line.
Wigan continued to dominate but it became apparent that Swindon were eeking out time with their keeper Vigouroux earning the ire of the Wigan faithful with his overt delaying tactics in taking goal kicks
Wigan continued to pressurise the Swindon defence and James forced a fine point blank reaction save out of the keeper following excellent work down the right by the increasingly adventurous Love and then Grigg narrowly failed to reach a goal line cross from dangerous substitute Davies
Just when it looked like Wigan would see no return for their investment they received a donation from the referee who rightly penalised Swindon’s time wasting throughout the gme by awarding five minutes time added on to be played. There was still time for Vigouroux to be booked ( at last ) for time wasting before Wigan secured all three points.
Once again the chance was created by the clever play of Davies, whose goal line cross wasnt cleared by the defence and Junior snuck in to prod the ball home. Swindon protested that the keeper had been fouled but the referee ignored their claims and blew the whistle moments later to keep Wigan’s unbeaten home record intact.
Line up and Player Ratings
Jaaskelainen………6, little to do
Love………………….7, attacked down the right with gusto
Daniels………………6, a quiet afternoon
Morgan………………6, solid as always
McCann ……………., MOM, solid in defence, adventurous in attack
James ………………6, getting better week by week
Perkins………………7.5, never stops running, tackling and passing
Power………………6, creative, withdrawn
Jacobs …………..7, Wigan’s most creative attacker, withdrawn
Grigg………………..7, a frustrating afternoon due to Swindon’s spoiling tactics
Wildschut………….7 good first half, tired as the game went on, withdrawn
Junior for Wildschut
Davies for Jacobs
Cowie for Power
Entertainment Rating………6/10 a satisfying performance without ever reaching top gear
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