Wigan Athletic 1 Bradford City 2

Chey Dunkley
Chey Dunkley

Wigan Athletic crashed to their first home league in eight months - 2-1 against Bradford - to slip four points behind early leaders Shrewsbury Town.

And Paul Cook’s men can have few complaints after being second best for much of a thoroughly absorbing encounter at the DW Stadium.

Bradford, beaten at home by bottom side Plymouth last weekend, led on 14 minutes through top scorer Charlie Wyke.

Chey Dunkley equalised 10 minutes later from a corner, but Latics were rocked when Nick Powell limped off just before the half-hour mark with a hamstring problem.

Both sides had chances to nose ahead during an end-to-end second period, and it looked as though honours would end even.

But there was to be a final sting in the tale, deep into stoppage-time, when Bantams substitute Terell Robinson lashed home from the edge of the area, through the fingers of goalkeeper Jamie Jones.

With Shrewsbury forcing an injury-time winner of their own, at Rotherham - where Latics go next weekend - there was extra salt applied in the wounds as the players trudged off the field.

After a three-week lay-off in the league, Latics had started the game in uncharacteristically shaky mood, with the visitors settling into their stride by far the quicker.

The Bantams had played last weekend, although they had been beaten 1-0 at home by bottom side Plymouth - and they looked determined to prove a point.

Stuart McCall’s men were proving that result a total anomaly as they took the game to the promotion favourites, and they should have taken the lead inside eight minutes.

Wyke produced an air-shot from bang in front, before Tony McMahon crossed the ball back in only for Nathaniel Knight-Percival to blaze over from close range.

It didn’t take long for Wyke to make amends, though, with the striker notching his eighth goal of the season on 14 minutes.

Goalkeeper Jones produced a fine save to deny the first effort, with Dan Burn then hacking the ball off the line, but Wyke was on the spot to bundle home and make it third time lucky from close range.

It was a decent response from Latics in fairness, with Sam Morsy’s curling shot being headed off the line within a couple of minutes.

The home side again came close when a deflected volley from Gavin Massey totally wrong-footed the goalkeeper, only to dribble inches wide of the post for a corner.

Bradford’s lucky didn’t hold, though and, from the resulting set-piece from Max Power, Dunkley steered the ball home in emphatic fashion.

Latics suffered a blow on 27 minutes when Powell, who’d looked out of sorts from the off, hobbled off, to be replaced by Gary Roberts.

And the visitors soon regained the initiative with Alex Gilliead’s cross from the right being met by the head of Wyke, who saw the ball come back off the bar with Jones beaten.

It was real end-to-end stuff at this point and when Michael Jacobs tried his luck from fully 30 yards, the Bradford goalkeeper could only parry it before being bailed out by a team-mate

The Bantams ended the half on top with Gilliead lashing well over from the edge of the box when he had more time than he realised.

And the visitors picked up where they’d left off after the break, with Nicky Law gliding through with ease.

The midfielder elected not to shoot but to cross, and Latics survived a big shout for handball against Burn, who hacked the ball to safety.

Latics made their second change jujst eight minutes after the restart, with Massey being replaced by David Perkins, which gave Morsy licence to advance forward a bit.

But still the Bantams continued to ask most of the questions, with a mis-kick from Dunkley almost playing in Law.

Thankfully for Dunkley, Jones was off his line in a hurry to boot the ball clear.

Bradford had a great chance to win it with 17 minutes remaining,only for Paul Taylor’s shot to hit Burn rather than the other way round, with Jones struggling to get there.

But Latics didn’t heed the warning, and were eventually made to pay in added time.

Substitute Robinson bore down on goal through the left channel, with Burn making the mistake of not coming across fast enough to cover.

The Bantams man took on the shot from 18 yards, and watched it fly through the despairing dive of Jones and into the far corner.

Will Grigg was thrown on with literally seconds to go, and he still almost made a name for himself, only for Roberts’ attempted through ball in the final passage of play to fall half a yard short, allowing the last defender to get a foot in.