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16 May 2019

Whether it's the score line or the impact on our season, here are five big matches from 2018-19.

  • Top Five Latics Games of 2018-19.
  • Against the odds at Leeds United and securing safety.
  • A thumping derby day win and heavy victories against promotion favourites.

We had some big afternoons in the Sky Bet Championship in 2018-19 none more so than at the end of the campaign in which we secured our status in the division with a string of impressive results.

With that in mind, let's take a look at some of the standout wins from 2018-19, with highlights available for free on iFollow Latics above!

5. Latics 3 Aston Villa 0 - Saturday 12 January 2019

It had been a very tough December and with play-off chasing Aston Villa the visitors to the DW Stadium after our exit from the Emirates FA Cup a week prior, Paul Cook needed his players to step up, and step up they did!

A beauty from Gary Roberts broke the deadlock four minutes before half time. The experienced forward's old pal Anthony Pilkington provided a moment of magic with a turn and stepover to beat Neil Taylor, before teeing up his ex-Huddersfield Town team mate to lash home left footed.


Latics had their much deserved lead and it only got better from there on in. Michael Jacobs' diving header at the back post doubled the lead on his return from a hamstring injury, before Joe Garner rolled home a penalty seven minutes from time to wrap up the points. With Villa now contesting the division's play-off final at Wembley Stadium, it looks an even bigger performance in hindsight.

4. Stoke City 0 Latics 3 - Wednesday 22 August 2018

A firm title favourite at the start of the season, recently relegated Stoke City probably expected a routine victory against our recently promoted charges, but it was far from straight forward for the Potters.

In truth, the hosts started the better and their Premier League quality forced Latics to dig deep in the opening 25 minutes or so, but they weren't banking on the break-neck speed Gavin Massey could apply on the counter attack, firstly setting up Will Grigg for the opener, before racing through on goal himself to double Latics' advantage by the 32nd minute.

That now infamous slow clap gif from Nick Powell followed having been bundled over for a penalty in the 57th minute. Grigg, calm as ever, duly obliged from the spot... cue the biggest knee slide of the season!


And just to rub salt in the wounds, Powell's presence was too much for Ashley Williams, who got himself sent off for violent conduct. Not a bad evening in the Potteries in the first month of the campaign.

3. Latics 5 Bolton Wanderers 2 - Saturday 16 March 2019

Derby day victories are always sweet, especially when you score five, but this one meant so much more for the course of our season, with the hefty victory setting Latics off on a run of results which saw Paul Cook's side lose just once in their final nine fixtures.

The game started with a bang, literally, slap bang off the middle of Joe Garner's forehead as he thumped home Reece James' wide free kick inside the fourth minute!


It took until the second half for Latics to really turn the screw, but they did so in a flash with two goals in a four minute spell to make it 3-0. Gavin Massey fizzed in the second in the 51st minute, before a bizarre turn of events saw Bolton keeper Remi Matthews roll the ball out, allowing Michael Jacobs to sneak up on him and tee up Nick Powell to finish into an empty net.

The visitors pulled one back through Gary O'Neil, but Jacobs was quick to react once more, lashing home Latics' fourth in the 69th minute with a thumping Goal of the Season contender. Sammy Ameobi bit back a second time to make it 4-2, but with nine minutes to go, Leon Clarke popped home a header at the back post to seal the rout.

2. Latics 2 Preston North End 0 - Monday 22 April 2019

Three days after their heroics on Good Friday at Elland Road, Latics secured back-to-back Championship victories and their league status with a pretty comfortable 2-0 victory on another memorable derby day.

A quite comical piece of defending allowed Paul Cook's men to take the lead in the 11th minute through Leon Clarke, who simply had to tap in Kal Naismith's cut back following a Preston 'clearance' which actually ricocheted in the opposite direction.

Visibly confident from the 2-1 win at Leeds United days earlier, Latics controlled the game, in which Ryan Ledson was sent off for the visitors, before doubling their lead with 22 minutes to play courtesy of Lee Evans' first goal of the season.


It wasn't a remarkable match, but for it's purpose of securing our spot in the Championship for 2019-20, it makes our list in runners-up spot.

1. Leeds United 1 Latics 2 - Friday 19 April 2019

Although it wasn't the actual match to secure our Championship status, this against-all-odds win certainly felt like it!

Picture this... you turn up at the ground of one of three automatic promotion chasers, a ground which boasts the best home record in the Championship and you haven't won away since August, within 17 minutes you're controversially down to 10 men and a goal behind.

The unfortunate party was Cedric Kipre, who seemingly made an outstanding goal-line block with his chest, only for a penalty to be awarded and the defender dismissed... 14 minutes in.

A hero between the sticks on the day, Christian Walton got the slightest of touches on Pablo Hernandez's penalty to tip the ball onto the post, but three minutes later he was beaten by Patrick Bamford for the Leeds opener.

Latics were in the relegation zone for the very first time in the season, one point behind Rotherham United who at the time led away at Swansea City, it felt like a long way back.

Remarkably, the goal and man deficit inspired Latics, so much so that by half time we were level! Massey was the magic man, latching onto Lee Evans' pass to fire past Kiko Casilla... Elland Road stunned into silence, except for the pocket of travelling supporters who couldn't be contained in their excitement.

At half time you'd be forgiven for thinking 'maybe we can hang on for a draw or keep our goal difference down' and if you did think that, how wrong you'd be...

Massey stepped up again in the 62nd minute with an uncharacteristic header, it was all going against the Leeds United script!

Battling and digging deep, Paul Cook's heroes actually carved out the best chances of the second half, despite the obvious rearguard action needed to keep the hosts out, action which ultimately created the scenes we see above... an unforgettable Good Friday, three crucial points and our anguish on the road ended in style.

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