LATICS 2 IPSWICH TOWN 3
A late header from Ipswich Town substitute David McGoldrick broke Latics hearts after Yanic Wildschut’s double turned round the early deficit given to the visitors through Brett Pitman’s controversial early penalty at a fog-bound DW Stadium.
Wildschut’s brace either side of half-time – his second a stunning finish so typical of Latics’ flying Dutchman – saw Latics take the lead and appear to be in control. But a succession of chances, several to Wildschut himself, were not converted and Ipswich were allowed back into the game.
Pitman’s well-timed finish from inside the area 22 minutes from time levelled things up against the run of play, before McGoldrick’s late header made it the cruellest of twists for Latics.
Joyce made three changes to the side which lost to Newcastle here in mid-week, with Andy Kellett making his first start for Latics since the enthralling 3-2 victory over Gillingham in January. Jordi Gomez and Dan Burn also made returns to the side, in place of Craig Morgan, Shaun MacDonald and Luke Garbutt.
Latics found themselves behind in controversial circumstances after just six minutes, when Dan Burn was judged to have fouled Tom Lawrence inside the penalty area, though it looked to be a fair tackle from the defender, and the incident looked to take place outside the box.
Boos duly rang around the DW Stadium but Pitman made no mistake with a cool finish from 12 yards.
It took Joyce’s men some time to recover their composure but on 21 minutes, Max Power almost got on the end of Wildschut’s dangerous cross from the left hand side, only for Bartosz Bialkowski to palm it away.
Latics were level on 35 minutes when Wildschut, show great poise to turn the ball home from close range after Power’s bullet of a free-kick could only be parried by Bialkowski.
Power was catching the eye, and he was unlucky not to put his side in front just six minutes later, when he stung Bialkowski’s hands with his effort from range.
Ipswich had their best chance of the half just before the interval, when Jonny Williams smashed his effort against the post.
Latics started the second half with the same momentum that they had finished the first and dominated for the opening 15 minutes.
Jordi Gomez’ creativity almost put Latics ahead on 52 minutes, when he picked out Wildschut with a delightful ball from deep. The winger fizzed in a dangerous ball, but Berra was able to clear before Power could connect at the back post.
Wildschut then scored a brilliant second. He picked up the ball from deep, before driving into the area from the left hand side, passing two players, then pulled the trigger from a tight angle, and the ball flew into the top right hand corner of Bialkowski’s goal.
Latics were in complete control, and were unlucky not to extend their lead two minutes later, when Power again went close from range. The midfielder produced a thumping effort from distance, which initially looked to have crept under Bialkowski, but the goalkeeper recovered to gather on the line.
However, with chances going begging, Pitman latched onto a ball from the right after a breakaway and blasted the ball home from 12 yards to draw the sides level.
Wigan Athletic were undeterred, and tried to find the winning goal, with Wildschut almost repeating his brilliant second goal just two minutes after the equaliser.
For all of Latics’ dominance, though, the visitors scored the third goal just two minutes from time when McGoldrick headed home.