Late Michael Jacobs goal earns Latics a crucial win in the pursuit for promotion from Sky Bet League One.
- Match Report: Bradford City 0 – 1 Latics
- Michael Jacobs’ stoppage time winner earns Latics all three points
- Latics move back into the automatic promotion spots in Sky Bet League One
Michael Jacobs scored a crucial late winner for Latics as they battled to victory at Bradford City on Wednesday night.
Crackers’ kept his composure when it mattered most after brilliant initial play from Ryan Colclough and Will Grigg.
The night itself wasn’t one for the purist, albeit Latics played with intensity and a desire to attack. The Northern Commercials Stadium pitch simply wasn’t conducive to the way Latics like to play their football.
Latics made three changes from Saturday’s 3-3 draw with Scunthorpe United with Callum Elder, Gavin Massey and James Vaughan all starting.
Paul Cook’s side had an early penalty shout turned down inside the first couple of minutes when Jacobs went over when breaking into the area on the left side.
Latics went close to opening the scoring on 15 minutes when James Vaughan saw his angled effort come off bar and post from a Nick Powell cross from the left. Seconds later, Nathan Byrne delivered a deep cross which was headed towards goal and had to be parried away by Colin Doyle.
A dominant Latics had another good opportunity soon after as another good delivery, this time from Massey, found Powell at the back post who couldn’t keep his header down.
Then Latics had a claim for a penalty as they kept alive an attack and Dan Burn felt his marker handled as he returned the ball into the area.
As half-time approached, the impressive Vaughan again went close, unfortunately not getting a clean enough contact on a Max Power corner when rising highest at the near post.
Early in the second-half it was the hosts who went closest first as Shay McCartan headed off target when well-placed from a Tony McMahon delivery.
It was Latics who continued to be the dominant force in the game, though, as a dangerous Elder delivery was headed back across goal by Massey only for Doyle to claim.
As the game opened up, Latics looked dangerous on the break and arguably the best chance to open the scoring fell to Jacobs who received the ball in the left channel, beat his man, but fired wide of the near post.
Colclough was introduced 20 minutes from the end and looked bright; he beat McMahon on the left and crossed dangerously but Latics couldn't turn the ball home at close range.
Devante Cole made his Latics debut late on against his former club, disrupting the hosts following his introduction to open up gaps in the Bradford defence.
The former Manchester City and Fleetwood Town striker almost made it a debut to remember when his headed effort at the left post was hacked away.
Latics were looking more and more likely to claim three points, and did so in style in the first minute of stoppage time when Jacobs finished off a fine move, sliding home Grigg's inch-perfect pass through the middle after excellent work from Colclough on the left side.
The passion on show was inspiring as Latics celebrated with their followers behind the goal... three crucial points gained in the race for promotion to the Sky Bet Championship.
Bradford City: Doyle, Kilgallon, Vincelot (Capt), Dieng (Law 86), McCartan (Poleon 82), Gilliead (Breunker 71), Guy, Knight-Percival, McMahon, Lund, Robinson
Subs: Raeder, Chicksen, Warnock, Jones.
Wigan Athletic: Walton, Byrne, Elder, Morsy, Power, Vaughan (Cole 81), Massey (Colclough 71), Jacobs, Dunkley, Powell (Grigg 58), Burn
Subs: Jones, Perkins, Bruce, Roberts.