Wigan Athletic 1 (Buxton 88)
A late headed goal from Wigan defender Jake Buxton denied Wolves a point from a dismal affair at Molineux. The defeat was the third in succession for Wanderers and they remain in the lower reaches of the Championship table.
Ben Marshall made his full debut. He was one of four changes with Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, Connor Ronan and Lee Evans also starting. Missing out were Conor Coady and Andreas Weimann who were named as substitutes, whilst injuries ruled out Nouha Dicko and Jack Price.
Wigan kicked-off attacking the South Bank end on a miserable, wet evening. A Ronan cross was headed over by Bodvarsson but otherwise there was hardly any goalmouth action in the opening 20 minutes to grab the attention of the smaller than usual crowd.
A foul by former Wolves midfielder Michael Jacobs on Helder Costa a yard to the right of the Wigan box provided an opening for Wanderers. Ronan got plenty behind the free-kick which was headed out to Costa on the edge of the area and his shot was caught under the bar by Matt Gilks in the Latics goal.
A rare goal attempt, in the 35th minute, saw Shaun MacDonald shooting high and wide and, when Wolves responded, Bodvarsson’s cross was just too far in front of the incoming Dave Edwards.
Ronan slipped a short pass to Bright Enobakhare who took the ball to the by-line and then beat a defender. But instead of pulling it back, he chose to shoot from the narrowest of angles and the ball went behind.
In stoppage time, at the end of a disappointing half, Edwards saw his shot deflected for a Ronan corner that was taken by Gilks.
Half-Time: Wolves 0 Wigan 0
Wigan made a change at the stat of the second half with Jamie Hanson replacing Jacobs.
Enobakhare then became the first man to be booked after he had clipped Sam Morsy.
In the 55th minute Hanson fouled Costa near the right-hand corner flag. Costa took the free-kick himself and Edwards ran in at the near post to glance a header over the bar.
After an hour’s play both sides made a change. For Wigan Gabriel Obertan took over from Omar Bogle and Paul Lambert switched Morgan Gibbs-White for Evans.
Marshall and Costa combined to release Enobakhare who drilled in a low cross that flew right through the Wigan goalmouth with no-one able to get a touch.
Hanson, unmarked in the home area, crossed instead of taking a shot and the ball went behind and before Dan Burn went into the book for a late challenge on Costa.
Ronan took the free-kick and Edwards’s header drew a flying save from Gilks.
Coady replaced Marshall, and then Enobakhare’s shot over the bar proved to be his last action of the evening as, before play restarted, his place was taken by Weimann. Seconds after his introduction, Weimann was booked for tripping Stephen Warnock.
Wigan snatched the three points in the 88th minute as Buxton rose to head home from Max Power’s corner.
In stoppage time, Costa was high and wide with a shot from just inside the box after Coady had slipped the ball through to him before, from all of 35-yards, Ronan hit a screamer that was on target and needed Gilks to be at his best in turning the ball over the bar.
Wolves: Ikeme, Doherty, Marshall (Coady 76), Edwards, Batth (capt), Stearman, Costa, Evans (Gibbs-White 60), Bodvarsson (Weimann 82), Enobakhare, Ronan.
Unused subs: Burgoyne, Saville, Wilson, Williamson.
Bookings: Enobakhare (49 – foul), Weimann (82 – foul).
Latics: Gilks, Buxton, Power, Morsy, Grigg, Connolly, Bogle (Obertan 60), MacDonald, Jacobs (Hanson 45), Warnock (capt), Burn.
Unused subs: Jaaskelainen, Perkins, Tunnicliffe, Weir, Browne.
Bookings: Burn (73 – foul), Moresy (90+1 – time wasting).
Referee: S. Hooper.
Attendance: 17, 156.