Wigan 3 Chesterfield 1: Match analysis - triple first-half strike halts Spireites revival

Three first half concessions, two of them within a minute, undid Spireites revival under Wigan born manager Danny Wilson.

Monday, 18th January 2016, 4:22 am
Ollie Banks goes down injured as pulls one back for Chesterfield. Photo: By James Williamson

Ollie Banks, a half-time sub, pulled a goal back with just 11 minutes to play in a second half that saw the visitors play some tidy football, but a Chesterfield comeback never really looked likely to materialise.

Spireites, who brought in Dan Gardner to replace the suspended Gboly Ariyibi, were up against it from early on. Michael Jacobs, the best player on the park over the 90 minutes, pulled the ball back for Max Power to match his name to fire home from the best part of 30 yards.

Wilson’s side created decent openings; Jay O’Shea twice went close as did Lee Novak and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake before Ebanks-Blake broke away following a Wigan set-play to feed O’Shea, in a whole host of space, but 40-year-old keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen sprinted to the edge of his box to make a goal saving tackle.

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Before you know it, the game had passed Chesterfield by as Wigan scored goals two and three within 60 seconds. Spireites were not at the Reeces when debutant right wing-back delivered Reece Wabara delivered for left wing-back Reece James to clip a beauty from 20 yards.

Then Haris Vuckic unpicked the visitor’s defence with a fine pass to Jacobs who slid the ball beyond Tommy Lee.

Wilson said: “It was a disappointment to be undone by two long-range shots. Wigan want to play football and play balls that go through the midfield and through the lines of the back lads and for most of the game we nullified that but the two long-range shots we just didn’t get to.

“The midfield were too deep, sat into the back four which they don’t need to do, and they allowed two shots to come from outside the box, which is disappointing because things like that can be nullified. But we didn’t do it, we didn’t react quick enough but fair-play, they were both great strikes.”

Wilson made two changes at the break and his side began to dominate possession but not manage to build up enough sustained intensity to suggest a comeback was on. Lee had a couple of regulation saves to make and Jaaskelainen was also called into action occasionally, a stop from sub Rai Simons his most rigorous work-out before Banks’ goal, his first in the league in 22 months.

O’Shea fed Novak, whose shirt was being pulled by Wabara, but when his feed was converted by Banks, the penalty appeals ceased and the hope of a miracle momentarily flickered. But Wigan had no plans to cave in for a second time in the week after squandering a three goal lead against the Blades and they saw out the final minutes, on the back foot, but with enough level of control.

Chesterfield have not beaten Wigan in a League game in 13 attempts.

Wigan (3-5-1-1): Jaaskelainen 6, James 7 (Chow 85), Daniels 6, Morgan 7, Pearce 7, Wabara, 7 Perkins 6, Power 7, Jacobs 8, Vuckic 5 (Davies 70), Hiwula 5 (Wildschut 79). Subs (not used): Nicholls, Barnett, Hendry, Holt.

Goals: Power 6, James 38, Jacobs 39

Chesterfield (4-4-2): Lee 6, O’Neil 6, Raglan 7, Hird 7, Donohue 6, O’Shea 8, Herd 5 (Talbot HT), Morsy 5, Gardner 5 (Banks HT), Novak 7, Ebanks-Blake 6 (Simons 65). Subs (not used): Chapman, Gnanduillet, Harrison, Maguire.

Goal: Banks 79

Ref: Ross Joyce (Teeside)

Booked: O’Neil, Herd (Chesterfield), Perkins, Jaaskelainen (Wigan).

Attendance: 9091 (1058 from Chesterfield).