WIGAN ATHLETIC 0 HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 1A late effort from Conor Coady was enough to stun Latics and steal all three points for the visitors.
It was a game of few clear cut chances, but Wigan Athletic had the better of it throughout, until Coady’s ambitious effort seven minutes from time ensured all three points went back to Yorkshire.
Latics made just two changes from the side which earned a creditable point against Blackburn last week, with Emyr Huws and Callum McManaman coming in for the recently departed Ben Watson and Adam Forshaw.
The consistency within Latics’ line-up seemed to be paying dividends early on, with an assured start from the hosts, who were moving the ball around the pitch fluently.
Latics built on their strong start, and carved out the first chance of the game in the fourth minute, when Martyn Waghorn almost found James McClean from point blank range, before Chris McCann curled the ball wide from the edge of the area when latching on to the clearance.
Latics continued to press in the opening exchanges, with the returning Callum McManaman looking particularly bright after serving his three match ban.
McManaman soon had an impact on the fixture, and put Alex Smithies to work in the 11th minute, when he whipped in a cross from the right hand side, which forced the keeper to nervously punch clear at his near post.
Latics’ control of possession was telling, and the positive moves forward continued six minutes later, when Waghorn’s good work in the area fed McCann, who fizzed the ball at Smithies from 20 yards.
Huddersfield soon began to creep into the fixture however, and Wigan were let off on two occasions with goal line clearances before the interval.
The first fell to Nahki Wells in the 33rd minute, who met Sean Scannell’s teasing ball from the right and headed at an open goal, only for Liam Ridgewell to hack the ball clear.
Latics were warned again four minutes later, when Waghorn was forced to head Tommy Smith’s effort off the line from a corner to ensure that the scores were level at the interval.
The second half continued in a similar vein, with Latics controlling the ball, but struggling to carve out a chance able to defeat Smithies in the Huddersfield net.
Wigan Athletic’s possession did pay dividends on the hour mark, when they produced their best opportunity of the game through good work from the talismanic pair of McManaman and McClean.
McManaman burst down the right and whipped in a perfect cross in the direction of McClean, who could not get clean contact with his header from seven yards, sending the ball just over Smithies bar and letting Huddersfield off the hook.
James Vaughan and Jacob Butterfield responded in the following fifteen minutes with efforts from range, in a game where it became apparent that it would take something special to provide either side with all three points.
Malky Mackay played his hand in this period, bringing on three fresh faces which included Andy Delort, who built on his impressive showing from the bench last week to again look lively upfront for the visitors.
Delort buoyed his side going forward, and had several encouraging efforts blocked by the Huddersfield defence, ensuring that Wigan continued to look the most likely to break the deadlock.
However, as Latics continued to search for the winner, Huddersfield countered, and Conor Coady broke the hosts’ hearts with a speculative effort with just seven minutes left on the clock.
Coady picked up the ball on the left hand side, and produced an effort from the edge of the area which beat everyone and curled straight into Scott Carson’s bottom corner to put the visitors infront.
Malky Mackay’s men were visibly rocked by the late goal, but continued to press until the death, with Liam Ridgewell and even Scott Carson producing testing headers at Smithies goal, but the visitors held on to inflict another home defeat on Latics.