Jacobs' cracker earns pre-season victory at Oldham.
- Latics 1-0 winners at Oldham Athletic.
- Michael Jacobs' free kick earns victory in good showing.
- Penultimate friendly provides plenty of positives for Latics.
OLDHAM ATHLETIC 0
WIGAN ATHLETIC 1
Latics collected their first victory of pre-season thanks to a stylish free kick from substitute Michael Jacobs in the 77th minute, as Gary Caldwell's side drew plenty of positives from a much improved performance as they ran out 1-0 winners in their penultimate friendly against Oldham Athletic.
Both teams created their fair share of scares for the other, with Josh Law hitting the post for the hosts early in the first half, before Max Power thumped the cross bar for Latics before half time, but it was Latics' quality that shone through, with Jacobs bending in the free kick following a foul on Ryan Colclough.
Latics moved the ball quickly throughout the team in plenty of positive spells, as Nick Powell proved a constant threat in the first half, with Latics continuing to put pressure on the Oldham defence even in the latter stages as substitutes Jacobs, Colclough, James Barrigan, Tim Chow, Jack Hendry and David Perkins provided fresh legs.
Defender Jake Buxton, signed earlier in the day from Derby County, starred in his first appearance for the club, working well with youngster Luke Burke who continued at right back, whilst captain Craig Morgan, midfielder Sam Morsy and striker Will Grigg also came into the side.
Latics made the most noise in the early exchanges, zipping the ball through midfield, but left frustrated by Oldham solid back line.
Powell dropped deep often to bring his fellow midfielders into play, but it was the hosts who conjured up the first big moment, when Josh Law's free kick cannoned back off Adam Bogdan's left post and agonisingly across the face of goal.
Latics continued to probe, but had to remain resolute at the back, with Burke impressing in his second consecutive start and Burn, Morgan and Buxton keeping out the threats of Lee Irwin and Billy Mckay.
After dealing with consecutive corners towards half time, Latics sparked an almost devastating counter attack through Alex Gilbey and Powell down the left side, with the former pulling the back to Power whose first time effort cracked back down off the underside of the cross bar to the midfielder's anguish.
Moments later Burn's clever footwork down the right side of the area resulted in a stand up cross for Powell, but he only saw his acrobatic effort deflected wide.
Yanic Wildschut and Jussi Jaaskelainen were introduced at half time for Powell and Bogdan, and immediately Wildschut caused problems.
Morsy's hard work to retrieve and keep the ball high up the pitch allowed Wildschut to force his way into the area, crossing for Grigg who was denied at point blank range by Peter Clarke.
Perkins, Hendry and Colclough were called upon just after the hour mark, with Oldham making a raft of changes themselves, disrupting the flow of play somewhat.
Jaaskelainen was kept on his toes when a loose ball kindly popped up to Jamie Reckord on the edge of the area, but the Finnish stopper was equal to it, pushing away the powerful attempt.
Jacobs, James Barrigan and Tim Chow replaced Grigg, Gilbey and Burke with 20 minutes remaining, and within just seven minutes Jacobs made his impact.
Clever footwork from Colclough around the edge of the area drew a clumsy foul, allowing Jacobs to line himself up from 25 yards, bending a superb strike around the wall and into the right side of the goal.
Wildschut and Colclough both came close before the game was out, but Latics were left to settle with a 1-0 victory from a performance which saw them looking expressive in key spells.
Oldham: Ripley, Law, Reckord (Brown 88), Burgess, Flynn (Winchester 88), Banks (Croft 60), Mckay (Trialist 46), Mantack (Trialist 46), Erwin (Cassidy 66), Clarke (Capt), Trialist (Woodland 66)
Unused Subs: Kettings, Edmundson, Stott
Latics: Bogdan (Jaaskelainen 46), Power, (Perkins 62) Gilbey (Jacobs 71), Morsy, Grigg (Barrigan 71), Flores, Burn, Buxton (Hendry 62), Morgan (Capt) (Colclough 62), Powell (Wildschut 46), Burke (Chow 71)