DCSIMG

Huddersfield 1 Wigan Athletic 4

Wigan Athletic's  Roberto Martinez directs his team from the touchline during the FA Cup, Fifth Round match at the John Smith's Stadium, Huddersfield

Wigan Athletic's Roberto Martinez directs his team from the touchline during the FA Cup, Fifth Round match at the John Smith's Stadium, Huddersfield

A TOTALLY professional performance saw Latics see off their Championship opponents and book their place in the last eight of the FA Cup for only the second time in their history.

Goals from Callum McManaman and Arouna Kone gave the visitors a well-deserved 2-0 half-time lead.

James McArthur’s cracking strike 10 minutes after the restart killed any chance of an upset, although Lee Novak did pull one back for Town with a fine header.

But Latics were always likelier to find a fourth goal than Huddersfield were to score a second, and Kone made it 4-1 with two minutes left with a shot that nearly ripped the net off its hinges.

Roberto Martinez had named a stronger-than-expected side for the game, with Kone starting for the first time since New Year’s Day and McArthur included to bolster the midfield.

And the Scotland international was instrumental from the off as Latics stamped their authority on the game.

McManaman was also quickly into his stride, with an early cross that was headed on to the roof of the net by Jordi Gomez.

The England Under-20 international was being marked by Jack Hunt, a very highly-rated young full-back, but the Wigan man looked to have the beating of him every time he touched the ball.

Fraser Fyvie fired over from the edge of the area before Huddersfield threatened for the first time.

Calum Woods launched a deep cross from the left and Alan Lee headed just over the crossbar.

The twinkle-toes of McManaman then saw him reach the byline, and his cross was only just in front of the onrushing Kone.

But the respite was only temporary, as Latics took the lead with half-an-hour gone.

McArthur’s ball inside Hunt was a beauty, and McManaman took a couple of touches before finding the roof of the net with Alex Smithies helpless.

Roger Espinoza tried to open his goalscoring account for Latics only to fire his shot well off target.

But it was all Wigan by this point, and the visitors found a killer second goal six minutes before the interval.

Again McArthur and McManaman were involved, the latter’s pull-back finding Gomez unmarked six yards from goal.

The Spaniard’s shot was well-blocked, but Kone - who was offside in the build-up - was on hand to stab home from a matter of inches.

Town’s attempts at an immediate response were unsuccessful, with Neil Danns unable to get on the end of another deep cross from the left.

Huddersfield made a couple of changes at the break, James Vaughan and Novak for the ineffective Lee and Chris Atkinson.

And one of the new-boys came close to a goal with his first touch.

A horrendous error by Ronnie Stam saw the ball arrive at the feet of Vaughan inside the penalty area.

But Joel Robles got his team-mate out of danger with a fine stop with his right foot.

Latics did well to weather the storm from Town, and McManaman was soon up to his old tricks at the other end.

One dangerous cross was cut out by the last defender, while another narrowly failed to find Fyvie in the middle.

There was a brief moment of alarm when Paul Scharner looked to have under-done his header back to Robles, but thankfully the goalkeeper reached the ball a split-second before Vaughan.

Maynor Figueroa burst through the left channel and shot into the side netting, before the game was effectively over as a contest 10 minutes after the restart.

The impressive McArthur received the ball back from Gomez, and he fired an unerring strike into the top corner to the delight of the bumper away following behind the goal.

Credit to Town, their response was good and they pulled one back on 62 minutes when Woods’ cross was headed home superbly by Novak.

Vaughan then saw another header wide as the Terriers pressed for another.

But they were leaving themselves short at the back, and Kone should have done better with one counter, only to find the last defender instead of Gomez.

Danns’ dangerous cross was cut out in the nick of time by Robles, with Novak lurking behind him for a tap-in.

But Latics weren’t finished and, with two minutes remaining, Kone smacked his second and Wigan’s fourth past Smithies.

Latics: Robles 7; Scharner 7, Golobart 7, Figueroa 7; Stam 6, McArthur 9, Fyvie 7, Espinoza 7; Gomez 7, McManaman 9, Kone 8.

Subs: Al Habsi, Boyce, Beausejour (for Gomez, 74), McCarthy (for McArthur, 89), Maloney (for Espinoza, 56) 7, Di Santo, Henriquez.

Huddersfield: Smithies; Hunt, Clarke, Gerrard, Woods; Danns, Clayton, Arfield, Atkinson, Scannell; Lee.

Subs: Bennett, Vaughan (for, Atkinson, 46), Novak (for Lee, 46), Lynch, Norwood (for Scannell, 65), Gobern, Dixon.

Referee: Michael Oliver

Star Man: James McArthur: Set the tempo right from the off, scored a brilliant goal and shaded McManaman for the honours

 

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