Another look back into the past as we focus on Wigan Athletic’s last away league trip to Huddersfield Town as they went in search of the Division Two title.
Huddersfield Town 0 Wigan Athletic 0
Saturday 19 April 2003
The Galpharm Stadium
It was a goal less draw with a few near misses for both sides, but the real story of the day was Latics’ first ever Division Two league title, wrapped up with a combination of their solitary point at the Galpharm and second place Crewe Alexandra’s 1-0 defeat at home to Swindon Town.
A thunderbolt volley from second half substitute Peter Kennedy almost clinched victory for Latics to celebrate their title win in style, but the near 4,000 supporters packed into the away end will be forgiven if they remember very little of the game, with celebrations at the forefront of their minds.
Latics went into the game having already sealed promotion to the second tier of English football for the first time in the club’s history, after third place Cardiff City lost their game in hand against Peterborough United.
With Paul Jewell’s men on 92 points, Crewe on 81 points and just four games remaining, including the day’s game against the Terries, Latics knew what they had to do and could feel the crown hovering above their heads.
It wasn’t a classic on the pitch, but Latics came close on a number of occasions, the first standout opportunity being a free header wide at close range from Lee McCulloch as he connected with a fantastic Gary Teale cross.
Jason De Vos’ header caused Huddersfield ‘keeper Phil Senior to juggle the ball between his hands, before Senior was well beaten twice, but had his woodwork to thank for keeping Latics out.
Kennedy cracked a first time, left footed volley off the angle of the cross bar and post, with the follow up also cannoned off the post by Teale as he arrived from the right.
Senior then showed true quality to thwart Latics for a final time, with Teale’s pass finding Jason Jarrett down the right side of the area, his touch taking the ball around the ‘keeper, but somehow Senior leaping back towards his line for a last ditch block.
One moment of action brought about the biggest cheer of the game, when the Huddersfield score board revealed Crewe 0 Swindon 1.
Stefani Miglioranzi’s 75th minute goal had the away end rocking as their dreams of the title became a reality with Crewe now unable to catch up.
John Filan’s big goal kick on 90 minutes signalled full time, and with a 0-0 draw Latics were crowned Division Two Champions.
STAT: A less celebrated achievement of the 2002/03 season, but Latics conceded just nine times on the road, denying 15 different teams on their own soil in the league, beating Preston North End’s previous record of 14 conceded in the 1999/00 campaign.
Huddersfield: Senior, Moses, Brown, Gavin, Heary, Holland, Schofield, Worthington, Smith, Booth, Stead
Latics: Filan, Eaden, McMillan, De Vos, Jackson, Teale, McCulloch, Bullard (Dinning 84), Jarrett, N.Roberts, Liddell (Kennedy 45)