WIGAN ATHLETIC 1 SWINDON TOWN 0A last-gasp winner from Francisco Junior bagged all three points for Wigan Athletic in a game they dominated, when it looked certain that they would have to settle for a draw.
Latics huffed and puffed throughout, but it looked like a winning goal would unfortunately elude the blues, only for Junior to steal the win in the fifth minute of added time with his close range finish.
The win means that Latics remain in fifth position in the league, and extend their unbeaten run at home in the division.
Latics boss Gary Caldwell made one change to the side that battled to a creditable 1-1 draw away at Bradford City last week, with Manchester United loanee Donald Love brought into the side in place of Leon Barnett. There were also returns to the bench for Haris Vuckic and Francisco Junior.
The game took no time to warm up, and Caldwell’s men went close as early as the second minute through Yanic Wildschut, who broke free on the left and side and fizzed the ball dangerously across the goal.
Fans were given little time to catch their breath in a frenetic opening, as Wildschut caused more problems just sixty seconds later, when he broke free down the left and squared it to Donald Love in the middle of the area, who couldn’t quite get a shot away.
Swindon Town had ideas of their own in an unbelievable start, and almost took the lead themselves in the fourth minute through Anton Rodgers, who picked up the ball in the centre of the area and just poked the ball wide of the left hand post.
Latics continued to have the better of it however, and went close again five minutes later, when Michael Jacobs produced an excellent ball to release Will Grigg on the right hand side. The striker took the ball down well, but saw his effort glance just wide of the far post.
Play soon settled down, as the visitors started to get a foot-hold in the game over the next fifteen minutes after a lively start.
It wouldn’t have been Halloween without a scare or two, and Latics were certainly given that in the 25th minute by Swindon, who were beginning to grow in confidence.
The visitors broke through Nicky Ajose and Ben Gladwin, with the latter slamming the ball against the left hand post with a powerful strike from the edge of the area.
Latics produced an immediate response and broke themselves through Wildschut a minute later, with the winger once again causing all sorts of problems down the left hand side, testing Vigouroux at his near post on this occasion.
That chance was part of a quick flurry of three, with Grigg laying the ball off to McCann for an effort on the edge of the area a minute later, before Wildschut tried his luck once more on the left hand side with a poked effort from close range.
Latics continued to be on top in a half which very much came to life in snatches, and had two chances just before the interval to go into the break in front.
The first came to Grigg, who met Jacobs’ free-kick on the right and volleyed wide of goal, before Wildschut wriggled free on the left once more, to force a close range save from Vigouroux.
Wigan Athletic started the second half as they left affairs in the first, with the hosts on the front foot throughout.
Latics almost went one better on their fast-paced opening to the first half, when Will Grigg went close to opening the scoring two minutes after the restart, only to see his close range effort after a corner cleared off the line by a Swindon Town defender.
Grigg was in the mood, and went close again on the 50 minute mark, when he capitalised on an excellent lay-off from Wildschut, before blasting the ball over from the edge of the area.
Swindon settled down once more, and once again made themselves difficult to break down against a Latics side who continued to see much more of the ball.
Caldwell’s men were dominating, but were continually frustrated by the visitors, who were determined to see out the game with a clean sheet.
Latics refused to give up however, and went close ten minutes from time through Reece James, who produced an excellent save from Lawrence Vigouroux.
The chance was carved out by Donald Love, who beat his man and centred it from the right to James, who looked to have scored from point blank range, only for the goalkeeper to save brilliantly, and see the rebound go over his bar.
Latics came again five minutes later through substitute Craig Davies, who hit one from the left hand side of the area, but he couldn’t quite keep his effort towards the far post on target.
Time was running out for Wigan Athletic, and it looked like they would have to settle for a point as the sides went deep into the five minutes of added time.
Caldwell’s men wouldn’t give up however, and their reward came with the last kick of the game from Francisco Junior, who snatched a late winner by capitalising on Vigouroux’s mistake to force the ball home from close range and seal a dramatic win for his side.