Blackpool 1 Wigan Athletic 3

Chey Dunkley
Chey Dunkley

A Chey Dunkley brace and a very rare David Perkins goal helped Wigan come from a goal behind to beat Blackpool 3-1.

Both players bagged their first goals for the club in a game that was hampered with swirling winds and torrential rain.

No-one will give Storm Brian top marks for not trying to allow a decent game of football, but Paul Cook will give his players 10 on 10 for what was a dominant second half performance.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough for Latics to leapfrog Shrewsbury to the top of League One though after a late goal saw them beat Fleetwood 1-0 but it did help extend the gap to third place to eight points.

Wigan’s last trip to the seaside was one that will live long in the memory for Latics fans after a 4-0 win confirmed promotion to the Championship.

And while Saturday’s three points weren’t as decisive, they certainly sent a message to the rest of League One.

Blackpool have enjoyed a decent start to the season and are hoping to be pushing for similar honours to Latics come May but the gap of quality between the two sides was evident, albeit not so much in the first 45 which was blighted by the conditions.

While Dunkley will deservedly take the plaudits for his two strikes, his afternoon got off to a terrible start when he gifted Blackpool the opener by practically putting the ball into his own net before Kyle Vassell claimed the last touch.

The centre-back soon made amends for his error though, with goals either side of the break before substitute Perkins sent the Wigan fans into raptures with his strike late on.

Chances were few and far between before the break with neither side getting to grips with the game.

It’s fair to say the two goals that were scored though were a result of poor defending rather than ruthless attacking and entertaining football.

The match was just seven minutes old when a high ball into the box caught Wigan’s defence out, with it evading Dan Burn before Dunkley getting a head to it while under pressure from Vassell.

Unfortunately he had directed it towards his own goal and with Jamie Jones off his line it was heading straight into the back of the net before Vassell got a touch. Replays suggest the ball had already crossed the line for a goal but the Blackpool striker was happy to claim it.

Blackpool then seemed to cope with the conditions slightly better than Wigan with Burn on hand to cut out a number of dangerous attacks.

Nick Powell had Wigan’s first shot on goal but it was tame and easily mopped up 
by Ryan Allsop in the Blackpool goal before Michael Jacobs headed against the woodwork.

As Latics started gaining some momentum and the clock was ticking down to half-time, Dunkley was on hand for his redemption.

Blackpool failed to deal with a Wigan corner before Massey was allowed to play a dangerous ball back into the area.

Ivan Toney’s header was somehow kept off the line by a scrum of Blackpool players but the ball fell to Dunkley who struck home from close range to send the two teams in level at the break.

Latics were well on top throughout the second half as the conditions eased with Nathan Byrne causing endless problems down the right and Powell his usual dangerous self, his header almost put Wigan ahead shortly after the re-start.

The Latics playmaker then put in a superb ball for Toney at the back stick but the striker just couldn’t reach it.

Blackpool had taken just seven first-half minutes to open the scoring and it took Latics the same amount of time after the break to put themselves in the lead.

Massey struck a sweet volley towards goal that was deflected to Dunkley who gladly slotted the ball into the back of the net.

Wigan continued to dominate with Massey striking the post with a fierce effort.

The moment of the game went to Perkins though who had just arrived as a second-half substitute. A man so loved by all Wigan finally got his goal.

It was five years to the weekend since the pint-sized midfielder last got his name on the scoresheet for Barnsley – also against Blackpool who he later went on to play for - and he hasn’t got much closer since.

But after Jacobs placed a fine through ball through for him 12 yards from goal, the 35-year-old finally found the target, albeit, via a deflection, to send the Wigan fans behind the goal absolutely bonkers and back home with the three points they came for.