WIGAN ATHLETIC 0 CHARLTON ATHLETIC 3Two first half goals from Frederic Bulot and Igor Vetokele and a late finish from Chris Eagles neutralised Wigan Athletic’s bright start and consigned them to defeat at the DW Stadium.
Latics had started the contest brightly, and created a flurry of chances in the opening fifteen minutes, but Bulot’s drive put the visitors in control, before Vetokele and Eagles made the game safe.
Malky Mackay was forced into making one change to the side which won at Reading on Tuesday night, with the injured Chris Herd replaced by Kim Bo-Kyung in central midfield.
Wigan Athletic flew out the blocks in the opening fifteen minutes of the contest, and created a host of chances which put Charlton firmly under pressure.
The first came through target man Marc-Antoine Fortune in the sixth minute, who burst down the left flank and forced Stephen Henderson into a good save from a tight angle with his low effort.
Henderson was kept busy, and the keeper was forced to pull off an excellent save to deny Leon Clarke’s header from the resulting corner.
The Latics fans were in great voice and galvanised the side, who again went close on nine minutes, when a flurry of players fired saw their efforts at the Charlton goal blocked from the edge of the area.
Fortune was involved again two minutes later, and was desperately unlucky not to put Latics infront, when he latched on to Sheyi Ojo’s searching cross at the back post to head narrowly wide of Henderson’s post.
Latics continued to press, but were soon caught out by Charlton, who found the net on the break with their first realistic chance of the contest on 18 minutes; when the ball was spread out to Bulot on the left, who burst into the box and slotted the ball past Ali Al-Habsi.
The goal was difficult to take for Wigan Athletic, who had dominated the game up until the opener, and the hosts took some time to regain their momentum.
Matters were not helped on the 33 minute mark, when Leon Clarke was stretchered off with an injury after a lengthy delay. Clarke’s departure was Latics’ second substitution, as William Kvist was also taken off injured earlier on.
Latics struggled to regain their momentum once play had resumed, and were given a mountain to climb in the second of ten added minutes, when Charlton doubled their lead on a rare attack through Igor Vetokele.
Bulot whipped in the ball from the left hand side in the direction of the forward, who coolly headed the ball past Ali Al-Habsi and into the bottom corner from close range.
James McClean tried to conjure up a response in the seventh added minute, heading over from a Fortune cross after good work from Ojo.
Latics continued the second half in a similar vein, and were unable to recover the sting they showed early on in the contest, despite seeing plenty of the ball.
Matters almost got worse for Malky Mackay’s men in the 52nd minute, when Vetokele slipped clear of the defence and had the goal at his mercy, only to slot it narrowly wide of the target.
Tony Watt repeated the feat five minutes later, when he too slipped the defence but was unable to put his effort on target, narrowly missing the goal.
Latics did show signs of resistance, and Henderson was forced into a superb save on the hour mark, when Maguire latched onto Perch’s miskick to head at goal, and only an excellent stop kept the visitors’ clean sheet intact.
James McClean continued to catch the eye for Latics this season, and almost reduced arrears with his own determination seven minutes later, when he cut in from the right and passed two defenders, before firing narrowly over the goal.
McClean again went close ten minutes from time, when he latched on to a deep Andrew Taylor cross to head wide of Henderson’s goal.
Charlton continued to look dangerous on the break however, and made the result safe with just two minutes left on the clock, when substitute Chris Eagles rounded off a fluent move to tap in from close range and consign Latics to a home defeat.