REPORT: Oxford United 2 Wigan Athletic 3

A brilliant goal four minutes from time from James McClean ensured Wigan Athletic will spend Christmas Day in the top two of League One - two points behind leaders Rotherham with a game in hand - after a hard-fought victory at Oxford.

James McClean celebrates his winning goal
James McClean celebrates his winning goal

Latics had to withstand a strong start from Oxford, with two fine blocks needed from Curtis Tilt to repel goalbound efforts.

But the visitors stood firm and took the lead on eight minutes, when Max Power's corner from the left was headed back by Jack Whatmough for Will Keane to convert

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It was almost 2-0 when another Power corner from the left this time found the head of Lang, but this time it was just over the top.

Latics had a massive let-off when Oxford striker Matty Taylor somehow hit the bar from a virtual open goal, with the ball looping up and then bouncing off the woodwork again on its way behind.

And the visitors made them pay just after the half-hour mark when Power lashed in a brilliant volley from 25 yards that flew past Simon Eastwood and into the bottom corner.

Credit Oxford, though, for dusting themselves down immediately, and responding through Ryan Williams within a minute.

Latics saw out the half without too much difficulty, but the home side came flying out of the blocks in the second period.

And the pressure eventually told on the hour mark when a cross from the right was slid home at the far post by Taylor.

As Oxford pressed for a winner, Latics continued to look dangerous on the break, with Gavin Massey somehow coming up with an air shot when bang in front, and Lang firing wide from a great position.

As the game ticked into the last quarter, the home side were dominating possession and looked the likelier side to force a winner.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But after Lang forced a fine save from Eastwood, Latics regained the lead with four minutes to go, when McClean drove an unstoppable left-foot shot home from a tight angle.

Get 20% off our sports subscription package and stay up to date with all the latest Wigan Athletic news with a year’s subscription to WiganToday for less than 9p a day. Use promo code TRANSFER20