WIGAN 2 TOWN 1Manchester United youngster settles tight contest
It took a piece of Premier League quality from Manchester United youngster Nick Powell to send Town to defeat at the DW Stadium.
The attacker took advantage of a mistake from Peter Clarke to smash home the match winner early in the second half.
Leon Barnett had earlier given the home side the lead before Oliver Norwood replied on the stroke of half-time. Danny Ward and Norwood tested Wigan stopper Lee Nicholls before the final whistle, but Town lacked the positivity in attack of a week ago.
Oliver Norwood was preferred instead to Duane Holmes as Mark Robins made one change side for the trip to the DW Stadium.
Town were without top scorer James Vaughan who served the second game of his three match ban, while Anthony Gerrard, Adam Clayton and Martin Paterson (arm) all missed out.
The Terriers, who were wearing all yellow, were up against a Wigan side that hadn’t won in its last four matches and started brightly at the DW. Marc-Antoine Fortune should have done better following Nick Powell’s cut back in the third minute, while on the opposite flank Callum McManaman looked lively despite having his ankles clattered by Keith Southern.
Manchester United loanee Powell went close with a left footed drive before Alex Smithies was tested for the first time in the 20th minute when he pushed Chris McCann’s drive over.
However, from the resulting corner Town’s stopper could do nothing to prevent Leon Barnett’s bullet header flying past him to give the home side the lead.
Mark Robins’ men almost responded immediately, though, when Adam Hammill danced to the edge of the Latics’ area and saw his low effort deflect wide off Barnett. The winger shot tamely over on the half mark, but it was Wigan who began to regain control of the game.
Ben Watson shot over, Emmerson Boyce headed over and Fortune had a penalty shout turned down as Owen Coyle’s men looked to double their advantage.
Boyce’s effort looked like being the last act of the half, but Town had other ideas. Jazz Richards got forward down the right, crossed for Oliver Norwood whose goal bound shot was deflected past Lee Nicholls via James Perch to the delight of the 2,000 travelling Terriers.
Town’s lead lasted just four minutes, though, and from the opening exchanges of the second half you could tell it was coming.
Powell shot wide in the first minute and Fortune forced a good save from Smithies, before Gomez intercepted Peter Clarke’s pass into the path of Powell who smashed the Latics’ second past Smithies from 12 yards.
Sean Scannell was introduced on the hour mark and did what Town fans have become accustomed to this season by setting up a chance. The winger got the better of Perch, cut back for Ward, whose deflected shot very nearly got the better of Nicholls.
Fortune headed over a good chance in the 63rd minute as a half lacking chances continued in Wigan’s favour.
Daniel Carr, who has scored eight goals in seven games for the Development Squad, was given his first taste of professional football in the 75th minute, but the chances just weren’t coming for Town as the game entered the final ten minutes. Since Ward’s effort on the hour mark only Norwood had tested Nicholls with a dipping free-kick.
Town showed plenty of desire in the closing stages, but lacked the cutting edge they showed against Leeds last week to earn themselves a point.
Town’s team (4-2-3-1):
Alex Smithies; Paul Dixon, Joel Lynch, Peter Clarke (c), Jazz Richards; Jonathan Hogg (Oscar Gobern, 39), Keith Southern (Daniel Carr, 75); Danny Ward, Oliver Norwood, Adam Hammill (Sean Scannell, 61); Jon Stead
Ian Bennett, Calum Woods, Murray Wallace, Duane Holmes
Bookings Wigan: Ryan Shotton 80,
Bookings Town: Oscar Gobern 69,