After a rough few months that resulted in the sacking of Leam Richardson, Wigan Athletic ended the first half of the season on a high with a 2-1 victory against fellow strugglers Blackpool. Here are 5 key takeaways from the game!
1) A much needed victory!
To say Latics were in desperate need of 3 points would be an understatement! It’s been well documented, on this website more than any, that we’ve been well off the pace for a while now and risked slipping out of touch of our relegation rivals, but this win ensured that’s not the case. We weren’t at our best and were fortunate to play against 10 men for well over an hour but none of that mattered in the end, we got the win we’ve been craving and it feels so good!
2) For Leam, by Leam?
Almost all of the talk heading into this game surrounded the board’s decision to sack Leam Richardson on Thursday morning. Many thought it was a good decision, plenty were outraged and everyone was quite sad that it had to end in the way it did, but this game panned out as if LR was still in charge! His assistant Rob Kelly was the man tasked with picking the team and as you’d expect he pretty much mirrored what Leam was doing, and thankfully it worked better. It still wasn’t much fun to watch but as I’ve said, all we should care about is the win.
3) A refereeing disasterclass with a premature ending!
Supporters often joke about wanting to swap a referee midway through a game that’s going poorly, and Latics fans got our wish yesterday! It’s fair to say Andy Davies wasn’t having his best game in the middle and the first half was full of contentious decisions, none more so than Blackpools goal. There’s a strong argument that Gary Madine shoved Jack Whatmough but the goal stood which didn’t exactly endear Davies to our fans. Anyway, he was replaced by the 4th official in the second half, I don’t know why but let’s just say it was for ‘the good of the game’!
4) The 2 perfect goal scorers!
The pantomime villain in his favourite time of year and the former Blackpool man and funniest footballer going. Whoever was writing the script yesterday got it bang on. James McClean, who observed the pre match silence perfectly, was understandably poppyless as he is every year, and he just seems to come alive even more around this time! Blackpool fans booed him, he responded with a goal and a couple of fantastic celebrations in front of the away end. Typical Jimmy Mac. Curtis Tilt is of course a former Blackpool man and for him to bag the winner was just brilliant. His celebration was also, let’s say interesting… Ashley Fletcher sent him flying so let’s hope he’s not injured!
5) An interesting onlooker…
With Latics’ managerial search well under way some eagle eyed Latics fans in the West Stand noticed someone that looked very much like Rob Edwards in the ground watching on. He’s been linked with the job and whilst there hasn’t been complete confirmation that he was actually in attendance it certainly seems likely. He was probably considering leaving at half time but perhaps that second half performance has given him a bit of encouragement. He’s not the only manager linked with us but he’d certainly be a good pick, as I’ll cover in my next article. Stay tuned for that!