2017-18 Season Review continues with a look back at the opening month of the campaign as Latics kicked off with a win on their return to Sky Bet League One.
- Wigan Athletic 2017-18 Season Review: August
- Latics kicked off their Sky Bet League One campaign and also played their first matches in the Carabao Cup and Checkatrade Trophy
- Join us on the journey for 2018-19 – Season Cards on sale now!
Latics’ Sky Bet League One opener was a trip to MK Dons and new look Latics, despite going down to ten men, got off to the perfect start. Seven players made their debuts as Christian Walton, Chey Dunkley, Callum Elder, Lee Evans, Gavin Massey and Ivan Toney all started, whilst Terell Thomas came on as a second half substitute.
Elder was dismissed on his debut just before half-time for a late challenge but that red came after Nick Powell opened his account for the season with a fine run and finish beyond former Latics stopper Lee Nicholls. Scott Wootton was also sent off in the second-half for the Dons as Latics held firm for a dream start for their new manager.
The bright start continued a few days later as Latics defeated Blackpool in the First Round of the Carabao Cup thanks to goals from Josh Laurent and Jordan Flores.
Our opening home Sky Bet League One fixture saw local rivals Bury visit the DW Stadium and, on a glorious afternoon, Latics signalled their intent to be a dominant force in the division. Michael Jacobs put Latics ahead but Alex Bruce – who would sign for the club just over a week later – levelled for the Shakers. However, a Powell double and superb first Latics goal for Lee Evans saw Latics take the game away in the second-half and run out 4-1 winners.
Further Greater Manchester opposition followed next as we headed to Boundary Park to face Oldham Athletic. Toney and Jacobs scored early goals to seal a 2-0 win, which kept alive Latics’ 100% start.
The reward for the win over Blackpool in the First Round of the Carabao Cup was a trip to Sky Bet Championship side Aston Villa in the Second Round but, despite Ryan Colclough’s first goal of the season, Latics exited the competition following a 4-1 defeat.
The month would close out, in terms of league fixtures, with Cook’s former side Portsmouth visiting the DW. The afternoon would prove to be the first in which Latics failed to record three points in the league as Conor Chaplin cancelled out Toney’s opener in a game in which both sides were reduced to ten men as Dunkley and Gareth Evans were both dismissed.
Our last match of the month was our first of the campaign in the Checkatrade Trophy; six Latics academy graduates featured in a 1-1 draw, which was decided by penalties – Latics winning 5-4 to get an extra point in the group stage.