Huddersfield 1 Wigan Athletic 2

Yanic Wildschut
Yanic Wildschut

Yanic Wildschut made the first and scored the second goal as his man-of-the-match display helped Wigan Athletic to a morale-boosting three points on the road at Huddersfield.

The Dutchman, again selected in a lone striking role by manager Warren Joyce, was in simply unplayable mood, running rings around the home back four throughout.

A typical driving run six minutes before the break allowed on-loan defender Reece Burke to score his first goal from the club from close range.

Town equalised five minutes into the second half through on-loan Manchester City midfielder Aaron Mooy, after great work from Nahki Wells.

But Latics weren’t to be denied and, after Wildschut took delivery of a great ball from Max Power on the hour mark, the main man raced half the length of the field, before rounding the goalkeeper and tapping into an empty net.

The victory is the first under new boss Joyce at the third attempt, and moves Latics level with fourth-bottom Cardiff, who have a slightly better goal difference.

Latics had to withstand a Huddersfield onslaught from the off, the home side threatening the Latics goal several times inside the opening half an hour.

They were given a warning when Rajiv Van la Parra’s cross from the left saw Elias Kachunga head over from close range, before the latter thought he’d opened the scoring midway through the half.

But the offside flag was long-since up on the far side, after the ball was helped back in by Kasey Palmer and Tommy Smith.

Within seconds, Latics were up the other end, with lovely feet from Wildschut seeing him engineer a shooting opportunity.

However, he rather snatched at the shot and it flashed well wide of the far post.

Jussi Jaaskelainen was called into the action to touch a Kasey Palmer header, off Sean Scannell’s cross, round the post for a corner.

And Town were almost in again when Smith crossed from the right and Kachunga was agonisingly short of making a connection as he slid into the six-yard box.

Having soaked up all the pressure, Latics began to look more and more of a threat as half-time approached.

Michael Jacobs played Wildschut through with a lovely flick with the outside of his boot, and the ex-Middlesbrough man at least made goalkeeper Danny Ward make a diving save.

The Terriers didn’t heed the warning, however, and Latics were in front within a minute from another razor-sharp counter-attack.

This time it was Wildschut who did all the donkey work down the right-hand side, carrying the ball fully 50 yards with defenders in his wake.

His cross into the middle was inch-perfect, and the unlikely figure of right-back Burke, who’d charged forward in support of his colleague, and was rewarded with a tap in from six yards.

Latics successfully managed to negotiate the remainder of the half without alarm, but would have been prepared for a Town onslaught after the restart.

Substitute Wells might have done better with a header that he directed straight at Jaaskaleinan, but he made amends within two minutes.

This time the forward eased past Jake Buxton, and his teasing cross was tapped home at the far post by an unmarked Mooy.

Mooy then tried his luck from distance, and his wicked effort swerved both ways before being punched by Jaaskelainen at the second attempt.

But as everything pointed towards another Town goal, Latics caught them with another counter-attack of devastating effect on the hour mark.

Wildschut won possession inside his own half and fed Power, before turning and taking the return pass from the midfielder into his stride.

Again he raced half the length of the field, once more the home defence couldn’t get near him, and this time he showed great composure in taking it around the goalkeeper before slotting into an empty net.

It was almost 3-1 in the blink of an eye, Wildschut with an almost carbon-copy lung-busting run into the Town area that caused panic.

This time he opted to play a sideways pass into acres of space, but not one of his team-mates was alert - or simply fast - enough to have gambled.

Back came Huddersfield, who they had a massive shout for a penalty with 28 minutes remaining after Luke Garbutt slid in - and appeared to catch - Wells, who went to ground.

Thankfully the official was unmoved, just as he was midway through the half when Kachunga fell to the floor under contact from Stephen Warnock.

Dan Burke and Nick Powell took over from goalscorer Burke and Nathan Byrne, but it wasn’t just all about shutting up shop for the visitors.

Latics remained a danger on the counter, and Jacobs wasted a great chance after more great work from Wildschut, only to scoop the ball over the top from the edge of the box.

Wildschut eventually gave way to Craig Davies with seven minutes to go, to a deserved standing ovation from the away end, and Latics were able to hang on in his absence.

There was one last cause for alarm in stoppage-time, but Philip Pilling couldn’t keep his header down - and the precious points were in the bag.