Wigan Athletic 1 West Brom 0

Josh Windass
Josh Windass

Josh Windass popped up 16 minutes from time with a cracking goal to see off West Brom and give Wigan Athletic a first victory in four matches.

Latics undoubtedly edged a thoroughly absorbing encounter at the DW Stadium, against a side tipped to be there or thereabouts at the end of the season.

The home side thought they’d won a penalty at the beginning of the second period, only for a foul against Nick Powell to be awarded literally an inch outside the box.

But Paul Cook’s men weren’t to be denied, and Windass bagged his second goal of the season with a brilliant low finish that former Manchester United goalkeeper Sam Johnstone couldn’t keep out.

And any hopes the Baggies had of getting back into it were dashed when Jake Livermore was given a second yellow card with six minutes remaining.

The result means Latics rise to eighth spot in the Championship in the table, a point outside the play-offs - and only five points off leaders Middlesbrough,

And boss Paul Cook was celebrating the perfect response to the 4-0 drubbing at Preston before the international break.

Latics made four changes to the side well-beaten at Deepdale, with Dan Burn, Lee Evans, Nathan Byrne and Gary Roberts replacing Antonee Robinson, Darron Gibson, Michael Jacobs and Will Grigg.

And it was Burn - making his first start of the campaign - doing his best Robinson impression inside the opening exchanges, flying forward on the overlap and giving the visiting defence something to think about.

Burn soon had more pressing things on his mind at the other end, with Craig Dawson’s deep cross picking out Jay Rodriguez.

Thankfully for Latics, the header was straight at Christian Walton.

Despite both sides being regarded as ‘footballing’ sides, referee Jeremy Simpson seemed reluctant to let them get on with it, booking Sam Morsy and Reece James within a minute, before redressing the balance by carding Dawson and Rodriguez in similarly quick fashion.

Happily some football then broke out, with Roberts producing a fabulous cross that rolled inches in front of Byrne, Powell and Windass and out for a throw-in.

Windass then found himself through down the left channel but, as Johnstone advanced, the Latics forward misjudged his chip and the ball missed the far post by some distance.

Baggies midfielder Livermore became the fifth name in the book after smashing Roberts, who almost had his revenge at the other end when he played in Windass, whose cross found Powell, but the defence was over to smother the danger.

Powell was then involved in a major flashpoint just before the half-time whistle, when he was tripped right on the edge of the box.

The referee appeared initially to point to the spot before awarding a free-kick right on the edge, which Powell thumped straight into the wall.

There was still time for Roberts to stab just wide of the upright, with only a goal missing from the Wigan performance at the halfway mark.

Hearts were in mouths within moments of the restart as West Brom’s Harvey Barnes raced into the box before taking a tumble under pressure from Chey Dunkley.

The whistle followed, but it was Barnes who was cautioned for a dive, which it’s fair to say the player himself didn’t agree with.

Cautions for Dunkley and Chris Brunt took the total number of bookings to eight, and caused the odds for a red card to increase markedly.

Nice interplay between Windass and Roberts resulted in the former’s shot being saved, but Latics were certainly knocking on the door.

And they eventually broke through on 74 minutes when Windass took delivery of Powell’s flick and raced through on goal, before burying it into the bottom corner of the net.

It was almost 2-0 within seconds, when a delicious cross from Roberts seemed tailor-made for Dunkley to nod home at the far post.

Sadly, Powell had other ideas, straining at the last minute and taking it off his head.

Thankfully it had little difference on the scoreline, with the final few minutes made a little more comfortable after Livermore was shown a second yellow card for clattering Windass, for which he had no complaint.