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Match Reports

Match Report : 10/09/2016

10 September 2016


Latics slipped to a third consecutive Sky Bet Championship defeat against a strong Sheffield Wednesday side at Hillsborough Stadium, despite Will Grigg's fifth goal of the season giving Gary Caldwell's side an early first half lead, only to be cancelled out by Steven Fletcher's first goal for the Owls and the match-winner from Fernando Forestieri just after the hour mark.

The hosts had a number of clear cut chances well defended by Latics throughout the contest, with resolute defending from Jake Buxton, Stephen Warnock and debutant Reece Burke denying Carlos Carvalhal's side more on the score sheet.

Latics made just two changes from the 1-0 home defeat against Queens Park Rangers before the international fixtures, with debutant Burke and his namesake Luke Burke drafted in to replace the injured Craig Morgan and Wales international Shaun MacDonald who took a place on the bench.

Adam Le Fondre was the only one of his fellow transfer deadline day signings to make the squad, making his debut from the bench for the second half.

An early warning sign of just how threatening Wednesday can be came within the opening two minutes when Forestieri scampered in behind, but Luke Burke's initiative proved vital, sliding around the forward to hook the ball away.

That couldn't be said for the Owls' defence though, as Michael Jacobs pounced just two minutes later to win the ball high up, beating his man down the left side and cutting the ball into a delightful space in the area for none other than the goal machine himself Grigg to tap home.

Grigg's fifth goal in seven appearances in all competitions seemingly brought on even more pressure though, with both Burkes and Buxton digging deep to try and keep Wednesday out, only for Fletcher to strike his blow before the half an hour mark.

The former Sunderland striker was powerful down the left side of the area, holding off Buxton's challenge and finishing across Adam Bogdan for 1-1.

Latics were dealt an injury blow before the clock had even hit 40 minutes when Nick Powell departed with a groin injury and was replaced by MacDonald, but it didn't stop Latics' adventurous side, with Luke Burke almost regaining the lead, only for Keiren Westwood to tip his right footed effort over the bar.

Both sides had chances in stoppage time, Wednesday's arguably the best through Forestieri who came inches away from clipping the ball into the bottom right corner.  Moments later it was Max Power attempting to give his side the edge, but he could only turn Grigg's cut back over the bar.

Le Fondre's introduction in the second half changed Latics' shape, but the theme of the game remained similar, with only crucial blocks denying the hosts the lead.

That dreaded Wednesday second did eventually come, in a period which saw both teams create flash points in front of goal.

Warnock's last-ditch block on Kieran Lee allowed substitute Yanic Wildschut to run almost the full length of the pitch before being denied a chance to shoot, before the hosts burst straight back up the other end to score, Forestieri finishing at the second attempt from a tight angle down the right side through a crowd of Latics bodies.

Wednesday slowed the tempo down thereafter, but still managed to muster chances, the closest of which saw sub Gary Hooper's acrobatic overhead kick saved a point blank range by the reactive Bogdan.

Latics pushed to squeeze a point out of the game, but despite the efforts of Le Fondre and Jacobs to try and create, Caldwell's side were ultimately left disappointed in defeat.

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