REPORT: FOREST 1 WIGAN ATHLETIC 4
Another fantastic away day saw Uwe Rosler’s Latics notch up a fifth win in succession, a fourth in the league and a third on the road. Martyn Waghorn, Emmerson Boyce, James McArthur and Jordi Gomez with the goals that shoot Latics into the play-Off places in the Sky Bet Championship.
Latics created some good openings early on, firstly a James McClean cross was diverted for a corner by Danny Fox under pressure from Maynard before Waghorn and Maynard both skewered shots wide of Karl Darlow’s left upright. Chris McCann then saw his goalbound effort strike Maynard and divert for a goalkick.
Latics threatened again when Leon Barnett failed to connect with Waghorn’s corner from a good position but McCann’s follow up almost reached the outstretched foot of James Perch, just in front of Darlow.
The pressure finally paid off after 36 minutes when Jordi Gomez played a neat one-two with James McArthur near the right hand touchline, opening up the space for Gomez to drive in towards the box.
He shot powerfully from 20 yards, the ball deflected off two Forest defenders and fell kindly to Waghorn eight yards out, who took advantage clinically to roll the ball in from an angle, right in front of the celebrating 1,200 strong Latics following.
Forest did have a fair amount of pressure but Latics mostly dealt with their threat efficiently enough and there were really only two hairy moments before the break.
The first actually came from a Latics mistake, Leon Barnett’s poor backpass allowing Simon Cox to slip in but he put his effort wide of the onrushing Ali Al Habsi.
Then, with just three minutes remaining of the half, Jamie Paterson worked a great opening just outside the box, but his shot fizzed just over the bar.
Waghorn saw his effort blocked before Jamie Mackie kept the ball in on the goal line, Al Habsi smothering his effort well at the near post.
Maynard then shot just wide as he tried to wrong-foot Darlow and the ball trickled agonisingly wide.
Then, as Maynard and McClean had efforts on goal, Forest broke away and Jean Beausejour was forced to bring down Mackie on the very edge of the box, escaping with only a yellow when the City Ground cried out for referee Stuart Atwell to pull out a red.
The incident seemed to rattle Latics and as Forest swarmed in the Latics box, the resistance finally crumbled when Paterson latched on to a loose ball inside the box past Al Habsi, via a deflection.
Rosler immediately responded by replacing Beausejour with Stephen Crainey but Forest then went close again, danger man Mackie again causing problems down the Forest right.
Crainey brought him down and from the resultant Fox free-kick, Jamaal Lascelles headed just over.
Latics took a few minutes to settle but then started to threaten again, Waghorn’s in-swinging cross had Darlow panicking, then McClean’s cross caused more havoc.
Latics could smell blood. McArthur broke forwards and for the second week in succession smashed in a superb finish low to the keeper’s right, giving Darlow no chance.