Wigan 0-1 Wolves
Let’s not gloss this game up as something that it wasn’t.
It was a win, and at this point of the season thats all that really matters.
But in truth it was a diabolical game and one that could have quite easily passed as a relegation decider such was the lack of quality on show.
Wigan totally dominated the game possession wise but Wolves patched up defence held strong to keep them at bay.
With the injuries to Ikeme and Batth, Jackett brought back Tomasz Kuszczak in goal and Ebanks-Landell in his more natural position in the centre of defence. Both played well and if it hadn’t been captain for the day Richard Stearman putting in such a magnificent Gandalf like performance, either could have been man of the match.
The tactics were also changed to a diamond with Edwards and Sako as narrow wide men with McDonald at the point behind Dicko and Afobe, with Price in the holding role.
As has happened in the past when Wolves have played this system, it didn’t really work.
There wasn’t enough width as Iorfa and Golbourne were unable to overlap due to Wigan flooding the midfield.
Inevitably this led to a lack of chances coming Wolves way but from the first one of note, Afobe scored from.
Golbourne was hacked down near the touchline and from Sako’s resulting free kick, Afobe got a powerful header to score what would be the games only goal.
Apart from two great saves from Carson, one with his legs to block Dicko and another from an Edwards header, this would be Wolves best chance of the game, in the 25th minute.
To their credit, Wigan threw everything they had at Wolves but the final ball just wasn’t there.
Kuszczak saved well from Pennant early on when he tipped his shot over, following a rare Stearman mistake; and from Fortune towards the end of the game.
Apart from these though there were shots over by Boyce that he really should have done better on both occasions and attempts from Mckay and Cowie that were blocked by fearless defending.
After the last few weeks it was good to get back to winning ways again even if it might be too little too late in terms of a play off push.
Special note to the fans yesterday though. A very satisfying chant referencing the torment we had to suffer in Terry Connor’s final game in charge, and the general carnival atmosphere despite the circumstances.
Even if the half time toilet/refreshment run turned into something resembling a mosh pit.