REPORT: Wigan Athletic 2 Cambridge United 1: Humphrys and Aasgaard see Latics to victory
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Latics were almost gifted a lead inside the opening exchanges thanks to a mistake from the officials.
Charlie Wyke was yards offside when he took delivery of a pass from Thelo Aasgaard and advanced on goal.
The five-goal striker - August's Sky Bet League One player of the month - coolly slotted past Will Mannion, only to see his shot come back off the foot of the post.
Latics were almost in again when Sean Clare's cross found Wyke, whose connection forced a good save by Mannion with his foot.
The ball rebounded out and struck an unknowing Cambridge defender and looped back towards the empty goal, before Mannion helped it over the bar.
On-loan Fulham winger Martial Godo - making his debut out on the left - then fed Stephen Humphrys, who cut inside on to his right foot, before his shot was blocked by a lunging defender.
At the other end, a rare bare break from Cambridge saw Sullay Kaikai shoot from 30 yards, with Sam Tickle helping it round the post for a corner.
The visitors came close to an opening goal just before the break when a deep cross from the right saw skipper Michael Morrison rise high at the far post, only to nod the ball inches beyond the far post.
Wigan eventually took the lead 12 minutes after the restart, when Humphrys cut in off the right on to his left foot, and curled an absolute beauty into the far corner of the net.
The lead was doubled within five minutes when Godo teed up Aasgaard, who slammed the ball home off the underside of the bar.
Cambridge pulled one back 14 minutes from time when Wigan substitute Callum McManaman felled James Brophy in the box, and U's replacement Fejiri Okenabirhie sent Tickle the wrong way from 12 yards.
But Latics held on to record a much-needed three points, and move closer towards the relative sanctuary of mid-table in League One.