On an afternoon of torrential rain during which supporters would not have been surprised to see Noah’s ark sailing up the river Douglas, Wigan turned in another damp squib of a performance, their third consecutive league game without scoring.
Wigan made four changes to the side which lost against Barnsley last week, with Love, Cowie, Davies, and Wildschut starting, Kellett, Jacobs, Revell all had to be content with places on the bench with Hendry dropping out of the eighteen altogether.
The game was played in driving rain and as a result quality play was at a premium from both sides. Blackpool were dominant from the off with their more direct style of play seeming to unsettle the home side who for all their dominance of possession failed to trouble the Blackpool keeper in the first forty five minutes
Blackpool on the other hand served notice of their intent when Ferguson fired a long range shot over the goal.
Jaaskelainen was then forced into a smart save when the industrious Cullen broke throuhg and his low shot was well stopped by the keeper.
Wigan were dominating in terms of possession but their passing was slow and measured and Blackpool’s tactic of packing the defence and working hard for each other enabled them to nullify any Wigan threat
Wigan have looked vulnerable from corners all season and so it proved again when Aldred, rose unchallenged to head the ball into the net with the keeper and defence all helpless. Wigan were stung into action with a long range shot from Grigg taking a wicked deflection for a corner but with no real pressure on the Blackpool keeper despite plenty of effort Wigan trooped off behind to the evident displeasure of a number of home fans.
Gary Caldwell made a change at half time, replacing Cowie with Daniels necessitating a change in formation. This change didn’t effect the game in terms of chances with Wigan trying to pass the ball into the net and Blackpool working tirelessly to nullify any threat posed by the home side.
Daniels had the first real chance of the half however when a corner was swung in and he met the ball unchallenged but only served to head the ball wide of the net for a goal kick. All Wigan’s forays into the area were broken up by the hard working Blackpool defence so the home side switched tactics trying to beat Lyness from long range. First Love forced Lyness into a save, then Power shot over the goal. Latics best chance of the half fell to Grigg when a good cross from Power found the striker unmarked n the area and his powerful shot was superbly tipped over the bar by Lyness for a corner.
Wigan continued to push for an unlikely equaliser and almost got it when Jacobs low shot seemed to be heading for the far corner but Lyness once again made the same.
The full time whistle saw Wigan fans endure their second successive home league defeat and a percentage of the fans made their displeasure known with a chorus of boos, the only applause reserved for former Wigan favourite Emerson Boyce who acknowledged the home fans at full time.
Team Line Up and Player Ratings
Jaaskalienen…..6, well beaten for the goal
James…………….5, a couple of good crosses.
Pearce……………7, led by example, followed by few
Barnett……………5, was given a torrid test
Love………………5, struggled to impose himself, withdrawn
Perkins………….5, worked hard in an overrun midfield
Cowie……………5, ineffectual, withdrawn
Power……………6, only consistent creative threat
Grigg……………..5, starved of quality ball……again
Davies……………6, led the line well, surprisingly withdrawn
Wildschut………..5, flitted in and out of the game.
Daniels for Cowie……..5, missed a good chance to score
Jacobs for Davies……..5, a good chance late on
Revell for Love………….5, little impact
Entertainment rating……….4/10 little Christmas fayre on a horrible afternoon
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