Wigan continued their progress towards the automatic promotion places with a scrappy one nil win over strugglers Shrewsbury and were grateful to a debut goal from Alex Revell and yet another starring performance from Yanic Wildschut.
Two changes were made to the side which won away at Rochdale, with Pearce and Davies dropping out of the starting eleven with recalls for McCann and Chow.
Not for the first time this season, Wigan struggled to break down a side whose sole aim seemed to be to simply spoiling tactics with the aim of keeping a clean sheet and stealing a point. To this aim , the Shrews employed Black as a defensive midfielder and his combative style resulted in a few challengers that earned the ire of the Wigan faithful.
As expected for a side entering the game unbeaten in ten league games, Wigan took the game to Shrewsbury with Power, Jacobs and Wildschut all looking dangerous and Power had the first sight of goal but he couldn’t keep his ambitious shot down.
Jacobs once again was looking dangerous on the right but his appearance was cruelly truncated when Black appeared to follow through with a tackle causing the Latics player to fall to the floor writhing in agony. Attempts to run off the injury were in vain and Wigan’s key attacker was forced into a long walk around the pitch, replaced by Will Grigg
Wigan appeared to be affected by the change and laboured to create any chances although Jams should have done better when fed a good ball from Grigg from the wing, the young defender shooting wide of the target.
Not long after Wigan scored and Wildschut as the provider, the big Dutchman beating his defender and cross to find Revell who headed the ball back across the keeper for his first goal for Wigan on his home debut.
Wildschut gave the Shrews defence a torrid time and once again created a good chance but none of the Wigan attacking front line could get on the end of the cross
Wigan continued to dominate after their half time cuppa with Shrewsbury struggling to create anything to trouble Jaaskelinen in the Wigan goal and with Power and Wildschut dominating proceedings it seemed inevitable that Wigan would increase their lead. The fact that they didn’t was down to their own poor finishing rather than any heroic defending from the away side. On several occasions Wildschut got to the deadball line and fired over a cross which no Wigan player seemed to have anticipated when such anticipation would have resulted in a simple tap in.
Daniels did his best but his powerful header from a James corner went narrowly wide of the post. Shrewsbury finally decided to attack the Wigan goal with substitute Vernon giving their side some momentum and a Kaikai shot forced Jaaskelainen to tip the low shot round the post .
Wigan showed they were feeling the pressure ,withdrawing midfielder Chow and bringing on central defender Jason Pearce, this seemed to spur Shrewsbury on who increased the pressure on Wigan who seemed content to sit back and try and hit Shrewsbury on the counter, substitute Davies making a fine break, his shot being blocked by the keeper with the rebound falling to Wildschut whose goal bound shot was thwarted by a desperate lunge from a defender. Chris McCann who had been superb in defence then showed his attacking class breaking forwards and shooting from just outside the area but his shot was superbly tipped over the bar for a corner by the keeper
Leutwiler then thwarted Wigan again saving well from Power and although Shrewsbury pushed forward in time added one, Wigan held on for a welcome three points int heir promotion campaign.
Team Line Up and Player Ratings
Jaaskelinen……6, more at risk of catching pneumonia than conceding a goal.
James……………6, works hard but prone to pass backwards when pushing forwards.
Daniels…………..6.5, strong in defence, dangerous in attack
McCann………..7, some wonderful attacking forays.
Perkins………….7, solid and unfussy.
Power……………7.5, a constant threat.
Chow…………….6, worked hard, withdrawn
Jacobs…………..n/a recipient of a nasty tackle early on, withdrawn.
Revell…………..7, worked hard and took his goal well, withdrawn
Wildschut………., MOM, his runs caused panic every time
Grigg……….6, failed to push for a starting role
Entertainment rating………………………4/10 scappy game, spoiled by Shrewsbury tacticsYou can find the latest episode of the Pie at Night Podcast on ITunes, on Stitcher or by searching for us in your favourite podcast App. You could also pop along to our SoundCloud site where you can find all our episodes. Or you could just use the player below. Give it a go, we might go on a bit, but you might enjoy it.