Disappointing Latics well beaten at Portman Road
- Wigan Athletic lose to Ipswich Town in the Sky Bet Championship.
- Matt Gilks’ made a string of great saves
- Latice also denied by fine Bartosz Bialkowski saves but make defensive errors
- Latics forced to play without a recognised striker
- David McGoldrick and Freddie Sears with the Ipswich goals
IPSWICH TOWN 3
Sears 30, 86
WIGAN ATHLETIC 0
Attendance – 14,661
Two goals from Freddie Sears either side of half-time after David McGoldrick had opened the scoring saw off a disappointing Latics at Portman Road, leaving Graham Barrow’s men with it all to do in their quest for Sky Bet Championship safety.
Latics did see the Town keeper Bartosz Bialkowski pull off several great saves in the second half, but Matt Gilks’ was also forced to make some excellent saves of his own as Latics’ chased goals, especially late on.
Overall, there could be no complaints, Latics had to play without a recognised striker and Ipswich clinically punished defensive errors. The only positive for Latics was that the other teams around them also lost and the gap to safety did not increase.
Graham Barrow shuffled his pack, in came Ryan Colclough for his first league start of the season, along with David Perkins and Craig Morgan, in place of Sam Morsy, Callum Connolly and the injured Omar Bogle. There was also a first appearance on the bench for the fit again Reece James.
Latics went in two goals down at the break after being punished for two defensive lapses.
Latics looked comfortable in the early exchanges but were hit on the break after 22 minutes when Sears dispossessed Morgan and found space down the left to go clear, he crossed the ball for McGoldrick, who finished clinically from eight yards, low down to Gilks’ left.
It got worse on 30 minutes when Jake Buxton was dispossessed in the centre circle by Sears, who stole the ball, ran clear himself and blasted it past the stranded Gilks. Disaster for Latics.
Latics were able to catch their breath when the referee suddenly came off the field with a muscle injury and there was a break of play as the 4th official warmed up and took over.
They did finish the half better, with long range strikes from Max Power and Jamie Hanson in injury time, both well saved by Bartosz Bialkowski.
Latics needed an early goal and Alex Gilbey was a half-time change in place of Perkins as they chased it. Morgan saw a close range header saved on 50 minutes, then Jamie Hanson, who was fouled near the corner flag, put a great free-kick into the box that whistled across the face of goal.
Colclough saw his effort on the turn from inside the box on 60 minutes brilliantly saved by Bialkowski, then Power’s shot on the edge of the box was well blocked and Hanson whipped a ball from the goal line just wide after Colclough was fouled. It just wasn’t happening in front of goal.
At the other end, Gilks had to be alert to deny Grant Ward and palm away a great curling 20 yard shot by former Latics midfielder Emyr Huws on 56 minutes. He then pulled off a brilliant double save in the 67th minute as Ipswich broke, first to deny McGoldrick, then the follow up from Grant Ward.
Latics brought on Connolly for Stephen Warnock in the 74th, followed five minutes later by Gabriel Obertan replacing Shaun MacDonald. Latics were rescued again in the 81st minute when Gilks pulled off another great save to deny Smith from close range.
Then came the critical third goal, ironically after two magnificent saves by Bialkowski, to deny Gilbey from long-range then a point-blank save from Jacobs. As Ipswich broke, McGoldrick found himself completely clear after dispossessing Gilbey, Buxton tried to stop him, but he squared to Sears, who took a touch and finished emphatically.
There was still time for Bialkowski to deny a long range effort from Gilbey but it would have only been a consolation.
Ipswich Town: Bialkowski; Spence, Chambers, Bera, Taylor (Smith 45), Ward, Kenlock, Huws (Bru, 76), Diagouraga McGoldrick (Samuel 89), Sears.
Subs not used: Gerken, Williams, Moore, Pitman
Wigan Athletic: Gilks, Burn, Buxton, Morgan, Hanson, Warnock (Connolly, 72), Perkins (Gilbey, 46), MacDonald (Obertan, 79), Power, Jacobs, Colclough.
Subs not used: Haugaard, James, Gilbey, Byrne, Bruce, Obertan.