Oldham Athletic 0 Wigan Athletic 1

A moment of magic from Michael Jacobs gave Wigan Athletic a long-overdue first pre-season victory - at the seventh attempt - as they edged out the '˜other' Latics at Oldham.

Tuesday, 26th July 2016, 9:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 6:34 pm
Michael Jacobs

Once again, Wigan were unable to get into their stride and give an accurate reflection of the talent in the side on display.

But just when it looked like they were going to draw a sixth blank of the summer, Jacobs - a second-half substitution - curled a lovely free-kick past goalkeeper Connor Ripley to settle it.

The visitors were hardly threatened at the back by an Oldham attack led by Billy Mckay, on a season-long loan from Wigan.

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But of far more concern to boss Gary Caldwell will be his side’s continuing inability to create much in front of goal, and in particular rediscover their supply line to star striker Will Grigg.

Latics new-boy Jake Buxton had been thrown straight in for his debut, just hours after joining from Derby on a three-year deal.

And the big centre-back was quickly into the game, doing well to get a great block to Lee Erwin’s snapshot.

Wigan’s first sight of goal came on the 10-minute mark, when Nick Powell was fouled 25 yards from goal.

However, the set-piece from the same player was disappointingly wide of the mark.

Grigg had his first opportunity nine minutes later, through the right channel.

The Northern Ireland man turned down the chance of an early shot, and paid the penalty as he was dispossessed trying to beat the last man.

Oldham were seeing plenty of the ball as well, and they almost took the lead midway through the first period.

Josh Law lined up a free-kick from 25 yards out, dead centre, and was desperately unlucky to see it beat Adam Bogdan, only to hit the inside of the far post and away to safety.

Oldham were almost in again moments later when Jamie Reckord’s wicked delivery from the left was only inches in front of Mckay.

The on-loan Wigan man threatened again four minutes before the interval, his right-foot shot being deflected just wide of the far post for a corner.

Latics made two changes at the break, with Yanic Wildschut and Jussi Jaaskelainen taking over from Powell and Bogdan.

Wildschut wasted little time getting involved, a typical burst of speed through the left channel saw him take Sam Morsy’s pass and almost play in Grigg for a tap-in.

The visitors almost played themselves into danger just before the hour mark when Craig Morgan lost the ball on the edge of the Oldham box after going up for a corner.

The home side briefly threatened to counter, only for youngster Luke Burke to get his skipper out of trouble with a nice interception.

Alex Gilbey showed a nice turn of pace down the left but couldn’t find the supporting Wildschut, but by this point a raft of substitutions - six more from Wigan - meant the game was losing much of its meaning.

Oldham had a couple of great chances around the three-quarter mark, but Jake Cassidy could only fire wide, before Cameron Burgess smashed straight at Jaaskelainen from the edge of the area.

That profligacy allowed Latics - the Wigan branch - to steal the honours when Jacobs found the corner of the net from 25 yards with a perfectly-executed free-kick, after Ryan Colclough had been fouled.

And the winning margin could have been even more emphatic, only for Wildschut to see one effort fly just wide, and Colclough have another shot blocked on the line.

Latics: Bogdan; Burke, Buxton, Morgan, Burn, Flores; Gilbey, Morsy, Power; Powell, Grigg.

Subs: Jaaskelainan (for Bogdan, 46), Chow (for Burke, 71), Hendry (for Buxton, 62), Barrigan (for Gilbey, 71), Colclough (for Morgan, 62), Perkins (for Power, 62), Wildschut (for Powell, 46), Jacobs (for Grigg, 71).