Latics bounced back from a goal down to win convincingly against Hull City with four second half goals. James McCarthy scored his first goal for Wigan Athletic in between a Charles N’Zogbia brace after Geovanni had put Hull City ahead in the first half, Scott Sinclair wrapped up the rout.

FA CUP 3rd ROUND – DW STADIUM – Saturday 2nd January 2010

N’Zogbia 47, 66
McCarthy 63
Sinclair 90

Geovanni 35

Wigan started the first half with just three unforced changes to the team that played against Manchester United in midweek, Chris Kirkland is injured whilst Paul Scharner was rested and Charles N’Zogbia and Jordi Gomez were put on the bench.

The first half never really got started for Latics as the midfield had no shape and the team in general didn’t have any sort of urgency about them. Jason Koumas was definitely the weakest link, his loss of fitness along with his total inability to track back or chase after the ball once he lost it astounded everybody.

We did however carve out a few chances; James McCarthy tested Myhill from distance and from just inside the box whilst Scott Sinclair was very impressive and scared the Hull defence to bits. Hull did get forward but their best chances were coming from dead ball situations and just after Scott Sinclair had shaved the crossbar, Geovanni stepped up to calmly plant the ball in the back of Pollitt’s net.

It was a very soft free kick that was given by the referee, but as they had tried twice earlier it was only a matter of time before he relented and let them have one. The free kick was just 20 yards out and Geovanni was inch perfect with the execution and left the 5,000 or so Latics fans that turned up, wishing they hadn’t bothered, although the booing the team off by a small pocket of idiots is still something I will never understand or condone.

The second half however showed how much Koumas was hindering the effort as his replacement N’Zogbia, wasted no time in showing a sense of urgency and after being fed in by Jason Scotland, was on the score sheet within two minutes of the restart, it was a great goal and moved the lads into the next gear. Hugo was the next to try his luck but his shot went agonisingly wide.

James McCarthy was starting to boss the play in midfield and Amaya was stamping his mark at the back. Figueroa was also getting forward a lot more now and he went very close after a Thomas free kick put him through on goal. N’Zogbia was continuing to terrorise Kilbane down the right and was unlucky not to get Scotland on the score sheet a couple of times as well as going close himself.

The pressure Latics were putting on the Tigers paid off though as James McCarthy was fed by N’Zogbia and the young midfielder shot from 20 yards, got a bit of a deflection and had us 2-1 up. Just minutes later a superb solo effort from N’Zogbia saw him tearing the Hull defence apart as he waltz down the right, cut inside and curled his shot around the keeper for 3-1.

Latics kept the pressure on and made Hull look totally second rate and how Scotland, Rodallega, N’Zogbia and Sinclair didn’t make the scoreline embarrassing for our guests is beyond me. Myhill did pull off some great saves though, including a double save from Rodallega and Sinclair. The game was wrapped up thou in the final minute of normal time as Scott Sinclair showed the class that got Chelsea interested in him.

Sinclair goalBen Watson put in a sublime pass for Sinclair to cut outside the defenders and didn’t think twice as he nailed his shot on goal, 4-1 and nothing short of what we deserved. We weren’t clever in the first half, but were still holding our own, as soon as the unfit (or lazy) Koumas went off though the team played how we want to see our team play.

If the second half performance can be reproduced week in week out, we will waltz up the table. Amaya, McCarthy, Sinclair and Watson showed the gaffer that he has real options in the squad whilst Koumas unfortunately showed very little to get himself in the first team stakes. All in all a good result, one which should have been seen by a lot more Latics fans – Here’s to the fourth round draw.

Report by Jason Taylor

Cockney Latic Man of the Match: James McCarthy (Great second half performance from Charles N’Zogbia and good showings from Antonio Amaya and Scott Sinclair)
Referee: Andre Marriner (Birmingham)
Attendance: 5,335
12 Mike Pollitt 1 Boaz Myhill
25 Mario Melchiot 15 Bernard Mendy
4 Antonio Amaya 19 Steven Mouyokolo
19 Titus Bramble 24 Kamil Zayatte
31 Maynor Figueroa 17 Kevin Kilbane
6 Hendry Thomas 45 Tom Cairney
24 James McCarthy 10 Geovanni
16 Scott Sinclair 16

Peter Halmosi

10 Jason Koumas 29 Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink
9 Jason Scotland 23 Kamel Ghilas
20 Hugo Rodallega 14 Richard Garcia
53 Lee Nicholls 12 Matt Duke
3 Erik Edman 3 Andy Dawson
17 Emmerson Boyce 20 George Boateng
15 Jordi Gomez 2 Nathan Doyle
14 Charles N’Zogbia 36 Jamie Devitt
8 Ben Watson 9 Jozy Altidore
26 Rachid Bouaouzan 13 Mark Cullen
35′     Goal Geovanni
46′ Player Off Jason Koumas
Player On Charles N’Zogbia
47′ Goal Charles N’Zogbia    
63′ Goal James McCarthy    
66′ Goal Charles N’Zogbia    
67′     Player Off Kamel Ghilas
Player On Mark Cullen
71′     Player Off Peter Halmosi
Player On George Boateng
77′ Player Off Hugo Rodallega
Player On Ben Watson
79′     Player Off Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink
Player On Jozy Altidore
84′     Yellow Card Mark Cullen
90′ Goal Scott Sinclair