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Match Reports


15 December 2018

Sears strikes to give boss a first Town win

A Freddie Sears goal gave Paul Lambert his first win as Town boss and Blues a first home victory of the campaign.

The in-form striker pounced midway through the second-half to fire in his fifth goal in as many games.

Sears had gone close for Blues in the first-half while Chelsea loanee Reece James hit the bar for the Latics.

Town stayed with the same side that performed so well at Stoke last weekend, while Wigan included former Blue, Gary Roberts and ex-loanee Callum Connolly in their line-up.

Jonas Knudsen forced Christian Walton into the first action of note on 10 minutes, the ‘keeper deflecting the ball behind for a corner after Jon Nolan’s excellent cross, Walton then quickly off his line to smother the danger from Sears.

Will Grigg couldn’t get on the end of Josh Windass’ clever chip, Walton holding firm from Jordan Roberts’ cross, while at the other end Gary Roberts fizzed a cross just wide of Grigg.

Jack Lankester’s free-kick from a dangerous position was headed clear by Dan Burn but Wigan should have been ahead on the half hour, Grigg just failing to toe poke the ball in from James’ superb cross.

The Latics threatened again with Windass driving into the box but Luke Chambers did enough to quell the danger, the skipper in the right place again to guide the ball back to Dean Gerken.

The Town ‘keeper punched clear under pressure from Grigg before on 35 minutes Sears had Blues’ best opening of the first-half, the striker bursting clear but he couldn’t keep his shot down.

James smashed a shot against the bar early in the second-half as the Latics looked for a breakthrough, James Vaughan the game’s first change on the hour, Grigg making way. Lankester then replaced by Gwion Edwards for Blues.

It was Town who ended the stalemate midway through the half with a goal out of nothing, a cross from the right wasn’t cleared, Roberts was crowded out but Sears was on hand to find the net.  

Former Blue Joe Garner replaced Windass, Andre Dozzell doing the same for Flynn Downes for the last 20 minutes.

James had a free-kick deflected over, Burn’s header cleared from the corner, then Garner won another free-kick on the edge of the box, Gary Roberts way over with his strike.

Connolly headed over as Wigan forced Town back in the final exchanges, Gerken doing really well to save from James’ free-kick, then the ‘keeper held firm after a goalmouth scramble to keep a grip on the three points.

Town: Gerken, Spence, Chambers, Pennington, Knudsen, Chalobah, Nolan, Downes (Dozzell 71), Lankester (Edwards 61), Sears, Roberts (Jackson 88). Subs not used: Bialkowski, Bishop, Nsiala, Kenlock. Booked: Chalobah, Roberts.

Wigan: Walton, Byrne (McManaman 79), Morsy, Grigg (Vaughan 60), Windass (Garner 70), James, Roberts, Kipre, Connolly, Burn, Evans. Subs not used: Jones, Gibson, Massey, Dunkley. Booked: Connolly, Burn.

Att: 14,640

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