REPORT | Wigan Athletic 1 Wanderers 0

Gethin Jones reaction Wigan

Wanderers suffered more derby disappointment as a game they dominated again went the way of Wigan thanks to a second-half smash and grab, writes Pete Oliver.

The Whites outplayed their local rivals but a 69th-minute strike from Latics’ substitute Stephen Humphrys was enough for Wigan to complete a League One double and extend their unbeaten run against Wanderers to eight games.

Unlike the heavy home loss in August, Wanderers did rise to the occasion as they spent most of the 90 minutes camped in Wigan territory.

But, crucially, Ian Evatt’s men couldn’t find a goal of their own and after back-to-back league defeats for only the second time this season still find themselves outside the top two on goal difference.

With the red card shown to Ricardo Almeida Santos in Saturday’s game at Blackpool being successfully overturned, the skipper was able to lead the Whites in their quest to record a first win at Wigan since Wanderers’ Premier League days.

Toal header Wigan

Alongside him vice-captain Gethin Jones made his 150th appearance for the club as Nathanael Ogbeta, Paris Maghoma and Victor Adeboyejo all returned to Wanderers’ starting line-up.

In a dominant start from the Whites – delayed 30 minutes due to traffic issues – Maghoma had the first chance but saw his shot blocked after being released by Jones.

Wanderers spent long periods camped in the Wigan half but 20 minutes in were forced to alter their personnel when Carlos Mendes Gomes worryingly went down unchallenged and was stretchered off with a suspected Achilles tendon injury.

That brought the introduction of Aaron Collins and twice the January signing delivered dangerous balls into the box as Wanderers tried to force the breakthrough.

The second of those – following a superb pick-out from goalkeeper Joel Coleman – forced a corner and ultimately a superb cross by Ogbeta which Eoin Toal headed over from an inviting position.

Toal then went even closer with a superb long-range strike which Latics’ keeper Sam Tickle pushed over at full stretch as Wanderers again went closest to leading at the break.

Dacres-Cogley shot Wigan

With the Whites then attacking the end packed out with over 4,200 away fans they started the second half as they had the first – on the front foot.

Ogbeta on the overlap forced Tickle to save at his near post before the Wigan keeper then had to react quickly to keep out a free-kick from the excellent Sheehan as the visitors cranked up the pressure.

It felt like a matter of time before Wanderers would break the deadlock but as long as the stalemate persisted Wigan were still in the hunt.

And with 20 minutes to go it was the Latis who grabbed the lead on the counter-attack when Luke Chambers threaded through a perfect pass for Humphrys to slide the ball past Coleman.

Evatt applause touchline Wigan

Suddenly Wigan had the impetus and it took an excellent save from Coleman to keep out an effort from Thelo Aaasgaard before Wanderers could re-group.

The Whites needed a flash of inspiration and Sheehan almost provided it with his final touch, curling a free-kick inches wide before he was replaced by Cameron Jerome as Evatt added to his firepower to try and find an equaliser.

Toal then headed wide from yet another corner late on but for all their possession Wanderers couldn’t find a way through the massed ranks of blue shirts to create a clear-cut chance as Wigan held on to extend their unbeaten run in the fixture and leave the Whites still striving to break into the promotion places.

Wanderers: Coleman; Jones, Almeida Santos, Toal; Sheehan; Dacres-Cogley, Maghoma (Dempsey 70), Thomason, Ogbeta; Mendes Gomes (Collins 20), Adeboyejo (Bodvarsson 70). Substitutes: Iredale, Forrester, Morley, Jerome.

Booked: Maghoma, Ogbeta, Thomason

Wigan Athletic: Tickle; Kerr, Goode (Morrison 75), Chambers; S Smith, M Smith, Adeeko, J Smith (Pearce 75) ; McManaman (Godo 63), Aasgard; Magennis (Humphrys 54). Substitutes: Amos, Pearce, Morrison, Sze, Kelman.

Booked: Magennis, M Smith, S Smith

Referee: John Busby

Attendance: 13,204 (4,209 away)

Read Time: 4 mins