Powell penalty seals tight win at the DW as Latics go second
- Wigan Athletic beat Plymouth Argyle in Sky Bet League One
- Latics back up to 2nd in the table
- Nick Powell with late penalty
Powell, 82 (pen)
PLYMOUTH ARGYLE 0
Nick Powell’s late penalty won the points in a tense game at the DW Stadium after dominant Latics struggled to break down a resolute Plymouth Argyle despite creating numerous chances.
There was no argument with the statistics, Latics were totally on top, forging twenty-three attempts on goal but they found Argyle keeper Kyle Letheren and his defenders in inspired form. The keeper made a string of outstanding saves, while his defence threw bodies on the line to try and save the match.
In the end, however, Latics just had too much for the visitors and Powell was on target to net his 5th of the season just as it looked as if it could be a frustrating evening.
There were two changes going into the game, captain Samy Morsy was back after suspension, along with Will Grigg, in place of David Perkins and Ivan Toney respectively.
It was a familiar story before the break with Latics dominant and creating chances but not able to convert.
Latics had an effort after just 90 seconds when Gavin Massey showed Gary Sawyer a clean pair of heels and Nick Powell headed his cross a yard wide. Lee Evans saw his goal-bound shot blocked in the area by Yann Songo’o after eight minutes.
Powell put a free-kick wide after nine minutes after Michael Jacobs was brought down on the edge of the box. Argyle defender Gary Miller was booked after bringing down Jacobs on the 18 yard line after 13 minutes, on the left side. Evans’ resultant free-kick was headed clear, Morsy volleyed the ball back in and Grigg diverted the effort onto the cross bar from near the penalty spot.
Massey then brought out the best in Letheren after 20 minutes, who blocked an angled drive after a sweeping move on the break between Grigg and Jacobs set up the chance.
Jamie Ness was booked for yet another foul on Jacobs after 25 minutes, Morsy eventually firing just wide when the free-kick was played square.
Massey saw his shot deflected by Ness after 33 minutes, and Letheren was able to save on his line
Grigg could have scored in the 44th minute, a pull back from Jacobs fell to him ten yards out, he tried to side-foot an effort into the bottom corner that Songo’o just managed to block. Jacobs then saw a curling short in added time brilliantly turned around the post by Letheren at full stretch.
Argyle spent the majority of the half on the back foot but did have two chances, Ryan Edwards headed a Graham Carey corner just wide in 32nd minute then Jamie Jones had to be alert to block from Joel Grant after he turned and shot from eight yards in the 34thminute.
Letheren was quickly into the action after the break, firstly blocking Evans corner off his line then twice denying Powell the opening goal by parrying over the bar.
Greg Wylde threatened on the break after 57 minutes before Paul Cook made a double substitution after 61 minutes, Toney for Grigg and Callum Elder replacing Reece James.
Letheren then made another breathtaking save from point-blank range after 64 minutes, Toney rising at the far post to meet Nathan Byrne’s right wing cross, his powerful downward header blocked on the line.
Powell thought he had scored after 68 minutes, turning the ball in from close range after an almighty scramble in front of Letheren but it was frustratingly ruled out for offside.
As time wore on, Plymouth fell deeper into their own half and did everything to slow the game down, Latics finding it increasingly difficult to create chances before the breakthrough finally came.
Jacobs broke down the left side, then slid in Powell who drove into the box. The ball came back out to Byrne on the right side and as he crossed, Toney was pushed in the area, Ness the culprit. Powell stepped up and coolly placed it into the right corner of the net. Noel Hunt made his league debut as an injury time substitute to replace Powell.
Latics: Jones, Byrne, Dunkley, Burn, James (Elder, 61), Morsy, Evans, Massey, Jacobs, Powell (Hunt, 90), Grigg (Toney 61)
Subs not used: Sarkic, Bruce, Power, Roberts
Plymouth Argyle: Letheren; Miller (Sokolik, 36), Edwards, Songo'o, Ness, Sawyer; Sarcevic, Ainsworth (Wylde 40), Carey, Grant, Blissett (Fox 72).
Subs not used: Cooper, Lameiras, Fletcher, Ciftci.