Latics relegated for the first time as a Football League club.
- Wigan Athletic drop to bottom tier for the first time since 1982.
- Injuries to Joe Parkinson, Neill Rimmer and Gary Worthington prove costly.
- Latics reach Northern Area final of Autoglass Trophy.
- FA Cup defeat to Bury sees Latics miss out on lucrative Manchester United tie.
- Bryan Hamilton leaves the club in March.
- Chairman Bill Kenyon also departs, Stephen Gage comes in.
- Bryan Griffiths top scores in all competitions with 17 goals.
- Latics now in the ‘Second Division’ after introduction of the Premier League.
Joe Parkinson, pictured alongside Phil Daley and Alan Johnson, would miss the majority of the campaign after picking up an injury in November.
Having won just one of their opening day fixtures since entering the league, and also being traditional bad starters, it was once again no surprise Latics struggled on the first day of the 1992-93 season.
Stockport County were the visitors to Springfield Park on August 15th and they came away with all three points as Chris Beaumont struck twice with the first coming after three minutes and the second two minutes after Bryan Griffiths’ second-half equaliser.
As always, the newly-named Coca Cola Cup broke up the early season league campaign and Latics faced a trip to Shrewsbury Town of the now Third Division. The first leg at Gay Meadow ended in a 2-1 victory as Phil Daley and Allen Tankard gave Latics a two-goal advantage before Carl Griffiths gave the Shrews hope.
Back in league action four days later, Latics were beaten 2-1 at Stoke City with the eventual winners of the league securing their success thanks to Wayne Biggins and Steve Foley first-half strikes, the former would actually spend two years at Springfield between 1995 and 1997.
Nigel Smith’s goal earned Shrewsbury a 1-0 win in the second leg of the First Round Coca Cola Cup tie at Springfield but Latics went through on away goals, setting up a tie with Premier League Ipswich Town.
After home defeats to Swansea City and Fulham, Latics were second bottom after four league games before a trip to Rotherham United. It looked as if the visitors were heading for defeat at Millmoor when Mark Todd and Shaun Goater gave the Millers a 2-1 lead after Griffiths’ opener but a Daley strike and a second from Griffiths – a penalty – earned all three points for Dave Philpotts’ side.
Hartlepool United visited Springfield next and went back to the north-east with a point after Andy Saville twice levelled following strikes from Chris Makin, on loan from Oldham Athletic, and Alan Johnson.
Chris Makin, who signed on loan from Oldham Athletic early in the campaign, opened his account for the 2-2 home draw with Hartlepool United.
A draw at Exeter City and heavy 4-0 defeat at Reading preceded the visit of Premier League Ipswich Town to Springfield. The Tractor Boys were ahead inside a minute thanks to Gavin Johnson but Latics replied early in the second-half through their own Johnson (Alan) before young defender John Robertson diverted into his own net to give the Suffolk outfit the lead. However, Gary Worthington scored his only goal of an injury-hit campaign to send the tie back to Portman Road level.
John Deary’s 89th minute equaliser was a cruel blow in the next home league game after Griffiths had given Latics a second-half lead but the hosts’ wait for a home victory was soon over as a Griffiths double secured a 2-0 win over Mansfield Town.
The return leg with Ipswich Town was next on the agenda but Latics failed to make much of a contest at Portman Road as Gavin Johnson, scorer in the first leg, opened the scoring after six minutes before Chris Kiwomya hit a hat-trick.
Following a defeat at Brighton, Latics were back in home action for the visit of leaders West Bromwich Albion and it was Makin again on the mark with the game’s only goal to secure three points which moved Philpotts’ side up to 19th.
A four-game winless run finished October with defeats against Bradford City, Plymouth Argyle and Preston North End dropping Latics back down to 22nd with Andy Pilling’s goal in the 2-1 defeat to the Bantams the only successful strike in that period as goals continued to be a problem.
A rare flurry of form arrived in the build-up to Christmas as Carlisle United were defeated 3-1 in the First Round of the FA Cup thanks to two own goals and a Gary Powell strike before Leyton Orient were defeated at Springfield after a Daley double and Tankard opener. A win at Chester City followed with late Griffiths and Pilling goals completing a 2-1 turnaround in Cheshire.
Next up was a double header with Blackpool; the first game ended in a 3-2 defeat in the Autoglass Trophy Group Stage at Bloomfield Road before the league fixture at Springfield saw Powell and Daley secure a 2-1 win and a third consecutive league success with Latics moving up to 19th.
The FA Cup continued next with Bury coming to Springfield and forcing a replay after Griffiths equalised with a penalty in the second-half.
A 2-2 draw with Port Vale and defeat at Bolton Wanderers preceded the replay at Gigg Lane with the winners knowing a trip to Manchester United awaited them. The Shakers’ Ron Gauge got the game’s only goal and secured the trip to Old Trafford with Latics missing out and boss Philpotts stating he was ‘gutted’ in his programme notes for the next league fixture against Exeter City.
In between, Latics had progressed to the next round of the Autoglass Trophy, defeating Preston 2-1 thanks to goals from new signing Peter Skipper and Pilling.
In his notes ahead of the clash with the Grecians, Philpotts stated he felt Latics could still make the play-offs, obviously buoyed by his side’s results over the Christmas period.
Unfortunately, Latics didn’t improve on their position of 19th early in January, though defeat to Exeter was followed up an impressive 1-0 win at Burnley with a Griffiths penalty the difference between the two sides.
And it was spot-kicks that took Latics through to the Northern quarter-finals of the Autoglass Trophy after a 3-3 draw with Rotherham United, with Philpotts’ side winning 5-4 on penalties.
Consecutive home draws with Reading and Stoke City and a defeat at Stockport County preceded quarter-final success over Scunthorpe United, setting up a northern semi-final with Huddersfield Town.
Bryan Hamilton signed Richard Brolly in time for the winger to make his first start and notch the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win over Huddersfield Town which would move Latics up to 20th, one place above the relegation zone.
A 1-0 defeat at Fulham put Latics back in the bottom four, Jeff Eckhardt scoring the only goal of the game at Craven Cottage before Huddersfield were back at Springfield for the second time of the week to face Latics in the semi-final of the Autoglass Trophy Northern Section, with Ray Woods, who had re-signed on loan from Coventry City, scoring a hat-trick and Griffiths and Daley also adding goals to secure a place in the Northern final with Stockport County.
The next six league games would return just two points and Latics were in deep relegation trouble after defeats to Brighton, Mansfield, Preston and Bradford with their major positive coming from a first leg Autoglass Trophy Final Northern Section victory over Stockport, meaning Philpotts’ side would take a one-goal advantage to Edgeley Park in April for a place at Wembley.
Peter Skipper heads home in the defeat against Brighton & Hove Albion.
A home defeat to Chester, which saw Stephen Appleton open his Latics account, is remembered for the last game in which Bryan Hamilton and Bill Kenyon were with the club as the manager/chief executive left along with the Chairman who sold the club to Stephen Gage.
With Philpotts in full control, Latics won at Leyton Orient thanks to a goal from recent addition Shaun Garnett and Powell’s late winner.
Shaun Garnett scored at Leyton Orient, his only goal in 13 appearances for the club.
A 2-0 win over Hull City, thanks to goals from Winston White, kept survival hopes alive at the beginning of April but a run of four defeats, including losses at Blackpool and Huddersfield and at home to Bolton Wanderers, preceded the second leg of the Autoglass Trophy final with Stockport County.
Winners in 1985, Latics missed out on a visit to Wembley as they lost at Edgeley Park 2-0 with Peter Ward and Kevin Francis securing progress for County, who would go on to lose the final against Port Vale.
Stockport County defeated Latics to secure their Wembley spot in the middle of a terrible run of form for Philpotts’ side.
A 5-1 defeat at West Bromwich Albion all-but relegated Latics with the gap at eight points with three games remaining and the drop was confirmed in the final home game of the season as Plymouth Argyle won 2-0 at Springfield.