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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: ROTHERHAM UNITED 1 LATICS 3

25 November 2017

Latics hit the Sky Bet League One summit with 3-1 victory at Rotherham United.

  • Latics win 3-1 at Rotherham United to go top of Sky Bet League One.
  • Will Grigg, Alex Bruce and Michael Jacobs on target in victory over the Millers.
  • Back-to-back wins for Latics as they go four away games unbeaten.

Wigan Athletic sit top of the tree in Sky Bet League One thanks to a 3-1 away victory at Rotherham United courtesy of goals from Will Grigg, Alex Bruce and Michael Jacobs.

It's back-to-back victories for Paul Cook's side after the 3-0 win at home to Doncaster Rovers on Tuesday, and it's now four unbeaten on the road thanks to a trio of well taken goals.

Grigg's fourth of the season gave Latics the early lead, only for David Ball to equalise almost two minutes later, before Bruce, who returned to the side as the only change from Tuesday for the injured Dan Burn, provided perhaps to the goal of the weeked with a sensational back flick to retake the lead.

Jacobs pushed the game beyond the hosts with a fierce drive, in a second half which saw Latics show their muscle in an all round excellent display in South Yorkshire.

It was Northern Ireland international Grigg who tasted the action first on a chilly afternoon in Yorkshire, giving a dress rehearsal of the opening goal when he narrowly headed Max Power's cross over the bar.

Minutes later Grigg got his second header inch perfect when he diverted a superb Lee Evans free kick beyond Marek Rodak.  A perfect assist for the Welsh international on his 150th career league appearance.

Rotherham were instant in their response, a counter attack down the left catching Latics out, allowing Ball to shape up inside the area and curl the ball into the top right corner out of Jamie Jones' reach.

There was no momentum shift however, with Latics threatening more and more as they game went on thanks to some teasing deliveries from Reece James on his 50th career league appearance.

First Chey Dunkley was denied at close range by Rodak, before Ryan Colclough's fierce effort was turned behind by the Rotherham stopper.

From the resulting corner it was chaos in the box as Evans was denied on the line, but step up returning defender Bruce who, with his back to goal, teed himself up with his first touch, before flicking the ball in off the post for 2-1.

Back in front, Latics continued to impose themselves on the game, drawing out a number of late challenges by Rotherham players, with Richard Wood joining Michael Ihiekwe in the referee's book.

Richie Towell joined his team mates with a booking shortly after half time for a late challenge on Nathan Byrne, before Joe Mattock could have have given a penalty away in a coming together with Colclough.

Latics were impressive, as were the travelling supporters, around 1,000 of which were providing the noise to roar on a third goal.

Jacobs, who was finally awarded his goal against Doncaster despite early reports of an own goal, certainly claimed his next, a fine (and clean) low strike through Rodak's legs from the left side of the area.

Rotherham's leading goal scorer Kieffer Moore remained a threat, but a mammoth performance from Dunkley prevented the striker adding any to his tally.  The defender, who received ten minutes of treatment off the pitch for a head injury earlier in the game, was on hand twice to block goal bound effort from Moore, seeing out the game with arguably a man of the match display.

Substitute Ivan Toney, who was introduced alongside Gavin Massey and Gary Roberts in the latter stages, almost made it 4-1 inside the last 10 minutes, stooping low to turn yet another cross from James into the side netting.

Shrewsbury's defeat to Bradford City meant the final whistle sounded all that sweeter come full time, as Latics' second victory in five days sent them two points clear at the top of the table.

Rotherham: Rodak, Mattock, Wood, Forde, Frecklington (capt), Ball (Yates 81), Potter (Vaulks 75), Towell (Williams 62), Ihiekwe, Moore, Cummings
Unused subs: O'Donnell, Ajayi, Clarke-Harris, Newell

Latics: Jones, Byrne, Morsy (capt), Power, Evans, Grigg (Toney 78), Bruce, Jacobs (Roberts 90+3), Dunkley, James, Colclough (Massey 83)
Unused subs: Sarkic, Elder, Perkins, Thomas


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