Entering October in the automatic promotion spots, Latics could look back on their start to the campaign positively.
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A difficult trip to promotion chasing Scunthorpe United was the next proposition but Latics came through in style on a sad day for the club on which we learned of the death of our former manager Ian McNeill, who’d sadly passed away aged 85. Cook’s side produced a performance of high quality in McNeill’s memory, though, as Dan Burn and Nick Powell scored second-half goals to earn a 2-1 win, with Funso Ojo notching a late consolation for the hosts.
Back in their groove, Phil Brown’s Southend United were next to feel the full force of Cook’s Latics as the Shrimpers were hammered 3-0 following their long trip up from Essex with Michael Jacobs, Powell and Ivan Toney securing the three points. The win put Latics to of Sky Bet League One on goal difference as fellow high-flyers Shrewsbury Town drew at Plymouth.
An always difficult trip to Gillingham followed for Latics and the long trip to Kent yielded a point of critical importance as Samy Morsy levelled late on for Cook’s side after Tom Eaves had headed the Gills in front early in the second-half.
A lot closer than Kent, Latics’ travelling supporters enjoyed one of their favourite trips of the campaign as they faced Blackpool the following weekend. Eight minutes in, it looked as if it wouldn’t be an enjoyable afternoon as the rain bounced down and Kyle Vassell pounced on a Chey Dunkley error to give the hosts the lead. However, in a remarkable match, Dunkley scored twice either side of half-time for his first Latics goals before one of the moments of the season saw David Perkins score his first ever Latics goal to send 2,100 fans behind the goal wild – a moment we’d all been waiting for.
Our Checkatrade Trophy campaign continued next with a 4-1 win over Middlesbrough’s U21 side as goals from Evans, Victor Maffeo, Hunt and Colclough secured victory which put Cook’s side on the brink of progression in the competition.
A big game closed out the month as fellow promotion chasers Blackburn Rovers visited the DW Stadium. Latics extended their unbeaten run to eight matches following a 0-0 draw but might have felt they could have got more as Gavin Massey hit the post and Rovers played the final half hour with ten men following Elliott Bennett’s red card.