Fleetwood 3 Wigan Athletic 2
Following the tension of the past week surrounding the continued ownership vacuum it was a welcome change to be able to watch a Latics team take the field at Fleetwood.
Leam Richardson made a bold move in his team selection by putting Emeka Obe and Adam Long, both 19 years old, in the centre of defence. It was a surprise, given that the experienced and capable Kal Naismith could have been slotted in there. Instead Naismith was employed in wide midfield, with Viv Solomon-Otabor on the other flank. Sam Morsy was not in the squad and the 21 year old Chris Merrie played with Lee Evans in holding midfield. Joe Garner was captain for the day.
Latics started off well with Garner finishing with power after an excellent run and cross from Tom Pearce came his way after 2 minutes. The good football continued with the ex-Latics academy players looking comfortable on the ball and Solomon-Otabor looking fast and powerful on the flanks. Latics were awarded a soft penalty when Joe Garner went down in the box on the half hour mark. The captain converted with ease. Latics were 2-0 up but Fleetwood had looked dangerous at the other end and it was no surprise when they scored after 41 minutes, the experienced Ched Evans beating Obe in the air. The 36 year old Gary Roberts had a superb curling effort hit the woodwork soon after.
The good football of the first half was not replicated in the second, with Latics reverting to the long ball mode that was all too prevalent in the first half of last season. Fleetwood were deserved winners in the end.
Following the game Leam Richardson commented: “I’m a bit disappointed because we started the game ever so well. We were going into half time at 2-0 up and had a few good chances to make the score line a little bit healthier, but they grabbed one before half time and it gave them a little bit of momentum.
There wasn’t too much in the second half, it went back and forth a bit, but fair play to them. They’ve got some good attacking players, as we do ourselves, which made for a good game of football, but we’re disappointed to lose.
“I’ve said all along, I’ll manage the lads with respect as long as they give it back with their hard work and focus. The players are doing that to the utmost. I’ve got to compliment the group of players and the staff because they’ve worked tireslessly every day to bring a positive outcome in the situation we’re in.”
Let’s take a look at how fans reacted to the match through the message boards and social media.
Our thanks go to the Cockney Latic Forum, the Vital Wigan – Latics Speyk Forum and Twitter for providing the media for the posts below to happen. Thanks go to all whose contributions are identified below.
Griggs goals on the Latics Speyk Forum commented:
I think after today’s performance we do have the base of a good team for this league. If we can get new owners soon and bring in a few free transfers. I think we could have a decent season. We just need this takeover business to be sorted asap.
Fans have got to accept that our Championship team has been shredded by the Admins, we are down to bare-bones to our previous teams and we
are building a team from scratch and with no money.
Kingde_Zeuww06 on the Latics Speyk Forum commented:
Had the chances to kill the game before Fleetwood scored but we were all over the place defensively throughout but I guess that isn’t that surprising considering our def mid and both centre backs haven’t a senior start between them. Think we have only ourselves to blame for throwing that away.
Fleetwood were in the play offs last season so it shows L1 standard is nothing to fear but admins bargain basement fire sale has left us short in key areas.
Cupwinners on the Cockney Latic Forum said:
You have to commend the players under the testing circumstances. I’m just glad to see a team put out there and in a new kit.
I tip my hat to the team, well done and thank you.
On Loan from Enfield on the Latics Speyk Forum commented:
Decent start and a few sitters missed. Those would have put the game out of reach in the first half. Viv Solomon-Otabor had a fairly decent game …. although he should have used his left foot to score.
The two young centre backs needed the experience and will improve if given more game time. I did think that if the game had to be won, Kal Naismith would have been slotted in at the back.
Moonay on the Latics Speyk Forum opined:
In the first half, both centre halves looked really composed, and played the ball really well, while Chris Merrie partnered Evans looking very combative and with a decent touch. Granted, Fleetwood should have probably scored, but the youngsters did themselves proud.
In the second half, Fleetwood obviously had to come at us, and it was Ched Evans coming on that changed things.. He’s a decent player, and gave the two centre halves a lot more trouble than they’d had in the first half.
Crankshaw didn’t have much time to impress, but again, he was combative and prepared to get stuck in.
Both new lads looked OK too…….. Solomon-Otabor looked very strong, and should have scored.
To be honest, the one who impressed the least was probably Naismith. He tailed off really badly in the second half.
He later added player ratings:
Excellent – Pearce
Very well – Solomon-Otabor, Evans, Garner
Well/OK – Byrne, Roberts, ………………. and the 3 young lads. ………..and the 2 subs
Poor – Naismith, Jones
The Egg on the Cockney Latic Forum commented:
Thought we played well today in parts, but the goals we conceded were poor.
Hopefully this isn’t another season of throwing away leads, but there were definitely some good signs.
Oscarbon on the Latics Speyk Forum stated:
I watched the game a feel we could and should have been 4 or 5 up by 30 minutes. Thought we had a repeat of the Hull game.
Evans coming on was the huge difference. Obi could not cope with him and their equaliser saw 2 of our defenders look as though they jumped under the ball to give him a free header.
The winger was dangerous on the ball but needs to be more confident to shoot. Pearce got one or two good moves going in the first and early second half but then their timing went pear shaped and they started tripping over each other. For me nothing lost and enough positives for look forward to.
SwindonLatic on the Latics Speyk Forum commented:
We can’t start the league season with the two young lads at centre half. Obi is a big, raw imposing player but he was too timid for his size and that is just inexperience playing against men. He needs a big no nonsense centre half next to him who will teach and coach him. I’m sorry but although Jamie Jones is a lovely fella, I can’t have him as our number one. Too error prone. I thought he should have done better for two of their goals.
Lee Evans is very good for this level and we need to keep him if we can. Naismith went missing today and Byrne was quiet. All in all though it was encouraging. Fleetwood were much better than us in the second half but they had a lot of very experienced players at this level and it ultimately showed. I wouldn’t mind Josh Morris and Duffy in our side. Viv looked good in flashes but his end product needs a lot of work. This is why he has just signed a one-month contract with us.
Fingers crossed we can get this takeover sorted so we can begin to move forward.