Wigan Athletic 0 Blackpool 2

Nick Powell
Nick Powell
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A second defeat in four days, off the top of League One for the first time in weeks...and skipper Sam Morsy booked for an innocuous foul with two minutes to go, which rules him out of next week’s FA Cup clash against Manchester City.

Yes, it’s fair to say it was a thoroughly miserable night for everyone connected to Wigan Athletic.

Right from the off it was a continuation of the doom and gloom started at Southend on Saturday.

Boss Paul Cook had followed through with his promise to give the players who’d under-performed at Roots Hall so badly the chance to right a wrong, making only one change - Reece James for Callum Elder.

But just as had been the case on the coast, Latics were behind from the first opposition effort on goal.

With less than three minutes on the clock, Kelvin Mellor’s shot deflected in off Armand Gnanduillet and into the bottom corner.

Wigan’s attempts at an immediate response were foiled when Michael Jacobs found space at the back post but Joe Lumley made the easy save.

Not content to sit on their lead, Blackpool threatened again when Mellor nodded down in to the path of Ollie Turton, who pulled his shot wide of the mark.

Jacobs - a former Blackpool loanee - was again denied by Lumley, before Nick Powell lined up a free-kick from 25 yards only to steer it off target.

Max Power was next to fail to hit the target, with Will Grigg narrowly unable to move his feet fast enough to divert the shot towards goal.

And Wigan’s task was made doubly difficult eight minutes before the break when they fell 2-0 behind.

Again Mellor - who was strongly linked with Latics during the January transfer window - provided the danger, this time stabbing home from close range after the home side failed to deal with a corner.

There was a fair amount of booing for the Latics players as they left the field, which didn’t help the mood inside the stadium.

To be fair to the home side, they at least started the second half in determined enough mood and were camped in Blackpool territory for a prolonged period.

A superb cross from Power saw a Powell header deflect just wide of the post.

Power then sent over a corner that found Chey Dunkley, who couldn’t direct his free header on target.

The former Tranmere skipper was looking the man most likely to create something for Latics, and another inviting delivery this time picked out Dan Burn, who headed wide from eight yards.

From another Power cross, Grigg saw a shot blocked, before James Vaughan and Gary Roberts took over from Gavin Massey and Jacobs.

Powell fired an inch wide after a deep cross from the left had found its way through the back post, his last action before making way for Jamie Walker.

The new-boy almost made an immediate impact, with an overhead kick from close range that was well saved.

But that was about it in terms of Latics chances, with Blackpool almost making it 3-0 late on, when Colin Daniel’s cross from the left found the head of Mellor, which required a fabulous save from Walton to keep it out.

The misery, though, wasn’t complete, with Morsy picking up his 10th yellow card of the campaign in the dying seconds - his 10th of the season - which earns him a two-game ban.

Latics (4-2-3-1): Walton; Byrne, Dunkley, Burn, James; Morsy, Power; Jacobs, Powell, Massey; Grigg.

Subs: Jones, Bruce, Perkins, Fulton, Walker (for Powell, 79), Roberts (for Jacobs, 60), Vaughan (for Massey, 60).

Blackpool: Lumley; Mellor, Tilt, Robertson, Turton; Ryan, Longstaff, Daniel, Solomon-Otabor; Delfouneso, Gnanduillet.

Subs: Taylor, Aimson, D’Almeida (for Solomon-Otabor, 90), Philiskirk, Agyei, Mafoumbi, Spearing (for Ryan, 65).

Star Man: Max Power

Referee: Jeremy Simpson

Attendance: 8,302