Will Grigg's late goal earns Latics all three points against The U's and moves Paul Cook's side three points clear of Blackburn Rovers.
- Match Report: Wigan Athletic 1-0 Oxford United.
- Substitutes Will Grigg and Devante Cole combine to earn vital win.
- Latics move three points clear of Blackburn Rovers at the top of the table.
WIGAN ATHLETIC 1
OXFORD UNITED 0
Substitute Will Grigg earned Latics a vital win in dramatic fashion this evening as his 86th minute goal beat Oxford United and strenghthened the club's grip on top spot in Sky Bet League One.
Devante Cole, who had only been on the pitch over five minutes, raced away down the right and crossed into the path of Grigg to tap the ball home into an empty net.
Paul Cook made four changes to the team that drew against Rotherham United last Saturday, with Jay Fulton, Gary Roberts, Ryan Colclough and James Vaughan all starting.
The Yellows went close inside the first minute when the ball fell to left back Ricardinho some 20 yards from goal but his volley went just wide of the target.
Latics were enjoying most of the play during the early exchanges, with Roberts causing problems as he tested the visiting defence with a couple of teasing crosses.
Max Power later tested Simon Eastwood with a low strike from distance, while Michael Jacobs rattled the crossbar with a strike from a tight angle.
Eastwood had to be at his very best on the half hour mark to deny Power’s brilliant free kick after Colclough had been felled in a dangerous area by Todd Kane.
Alex Mowatt then headed former U’s defender Chey Dunkley’s effort off the line as Cook’s side continued to pressure Karl Robinson’s.
In reply, Canice Carroll bounced a volley narrowly wide of Christian Walton’s goal before the break as the ball was only half cleared out of the box.
Colclough and Jacobs both skewed good opportunities early into the second period as Latics started the half on the front foot.
Despite the home side’s best efforts, the game turned into a scrappy affair as the visiting backline frustrated Cook’s attack, with Will Grigg coming on for Colclough just past the hour.
The Northern Ireland international almost opened the scoring on 75 minutes when he spun in the area only to hook a shot over the bar from close range.
Cole was brought on for his home debut late on and turned provider for Grigg in the 86th minute as he slid the ball across the face of goal for his strike partner to tap home.
Backed by a vociferous home support, Latics saw out the game to move three points ahead of nearest rivals Blackburn Rovers at the summit of the third tier.
Wigan Athletic: Walton; Elder, Morsy (Capt), Power, Vaughan (Cole 82), Jacobs, Roberts, Dunkley, Colclough (Grigg 65), Fulton (Massey 68), Burn.
Subs: Jones, Perkins, Walker, Bruce.
Oxford United: Eastwood; Nelson (Capt), Brannagan, Ruffels, Dickie, Kane, Ricardinho, Mowatt, Buckley-Ricketts (Rothwell 53), Carroll (Mehmeti 75), van Kessel (Ledson 58).
Subs: Shearer, Martin, Hall, Napa.