Wigan Athletic 3 – 0 Stoke City
SKYBET CHAMPIONSHIP – DW STADIUM
Tuesday 30th June 2020
3 – 0
An own goal from Jack Butland and two from substitute Kal Naismith as Latics demolish Potters.
Latics moved eight points clear of the drop zone, for the time being at least, with an emphatic 3-0 win over Stoke City which could quite so easily have been more after the home side completely dominated their relegation rivals.
A third straight win since the resumption of the Championship season has lifted fears of relegation for Paul Cook and his side, but Michael O’Neill will be a worried man after his side were dominated from start to finish.
Kieffer Moore (twice) and Jamal Lowe all had chances to put the home side in front inside the opening 15 minutes, but the visitors arguably had the best chance when Sam Vokes forced a superb save from David Marshall who was looking for a 7th straight clean sheet.
That was as good as it would get for the men from The Potteries though as further pressure led to chances for Joe Williams and Samy Morsy before Kieran Dowell finally opened the scoring with his first goal for the club.
It is taking nothing away from the effort even if it may end up being given as an own goal against former England ‘keeper Jack Butland, as he turned what appeared to be a low cross from Dowell into his own net to give Latics a deserved lead at the break.
It could have been more though as Dowell and substitute Kal Naismith, who had earlier replaced an injured Michael Jacobs, both tested Butland before the break. The lead was a deserved one, but the game could and possibly should quite easily have been all over.
It would be typical of Wigan Athletic this season to go on and lose this game despite their dominance but that seems to be the Wigan Athletic of old after a run of 9 games without defeat, and the new look Latics continued to dominate in the second half.
Jamal Lowe should have made it 2-0 when he found himself with an open goal after a cross from Naismith alluded everyone in the box but the in-form striker could only direct it onto the crossbar.
It wasn’t long before the second goal arrived though and again Jack Butland was at fault after he fumbled Jamal Lowe’s cross into the path of Naismith who doubled the lead with ease.
Three minutes later and the game was secured after a stunning strike from Naismith gave Butland no chance at all. Cutting inside two Stoke defenders onto his favoured left foot, the former Rangers midfielder struck an unstoppable effort into the bottom right corner of Butland’s goal.
3 goals, 3 points. A few minor chances would follow but the game unsurprisingly filtered out with Stoke never really offering any form of resistance to the Latics dominance.
The win has moved them up to 14th in the table before several fixtures later this evening, but the gap to the bottom three of eight points will be the pleasing aspect with just six games to go and boss Paul Cook believes one more win will be enough to secure a third consecutive season of Championship football:
“We’re going to start to get a points tally soon that will be hard for people to catch. Great credit to Luton, Barnsley and Charlton at the minute because they’re continually making life difficult for everyone.
“It’s going to go down to the wire for a lot of people, but I do feel now that if we can gain one more win from the remaining six games, then we’ll be very hard to catch.”
By Adam Conroy
Cockney Latic MOM: Nathan Byrne
Referee: Jeremy Simpson (7/10)
Video Highlights: click here
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