- English Football League - Championship
- Saturday, January 11th 2020
- DW Stadium
James Crawley reports from DW Stadium
Report: Wigan Athletic 0-2 Bristol City
Saturday, January 11th 2020
Jamie Paterson and Famara Diédhiou struck late on to snatch all three points from Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium.
Despite the hosts dominant possession-based display, half-time substitute Paterson exchanged passes with Diédhiou before slotting the ball under David Marshall to give the Robins a 76th-minute lead.
The pair then combined just two minutes later, with Paterson lofting the ball into the Senegal striker’s path, who placed the ball into the far corner.
Diédhiou had early been denied by the crossbar, while the Latics were wasteful in part due to the fine display of Daniel Bentley, who would earn a clean sheet on the road.
The win is City’s first victory of 2020, heading into the Emirates FA Cup third round replay on Tuesday night.
Lee Johnson made six changes following last weekend’s FA Cup action with Bentley back in goal behind Jack Hunt and Nathan Baker as well as Ashley Williams, who had served his one-game suspension. Korey Smith captained the Robins as he partnered Han-Noah Massengo in midfield, while Andreas Weimann returned to help Diédhiou in attack.
There were also a spot in the 18-man squad for goalkeeper Jojo Wollacott, while midfielder James Morton travelled but did not make the bench. Both were both recalled from loans at Forest Green Rovers in the week. Josh Brownhill (minor foot bruising), Tomas Kalas (hamstring) and Antoine Semenyo (illness) all missed out on a spot in the matchday squad.
Wigan were the team with lots more of the ball, especially in the first half as they looked to play patiently. Twice they nearly carved City open with ball in behind the defence but both Niclas Eliasson and Williams were alert to cut out the dangerous balls.
Wigan loanee Kieran Dowell went close to scoring what would have been a fortuitous opener when he closed down a Bentley clearance. The block sent the ball back towards goal, but it hit the side netting on its way wide.
Nathan Baker then produced a vital block to deny Joe Williams’ shot from the edge of the area, before City began to threaten late in the first half. They were presented their best chance when Eliasson crossed into the box from the right, picking out Diédhiou but the striker couldn’t keep the ball down. The Senegal forward had not long earlier put the ball into the top corner from a volley in what would have been a goal of the month contender, but an offside call had been awarded in the build up.
The away side still had to keep Wigan at bay though before the half-time whistle, with Bentley pushing away a Jamal Lowe cross as City held on at the break.
Paterson replaced Marley Watkins for the start of the second half as Johnson looked for an attacking change yet still the home side couldn’t find the beating of Bentley.
Johnson’s second change welcomed Ádám Nagy to the field of play with Han-Noah Massengo making way as a result, before City went agonisingly close to stealing the lead.
The Robins won a free kick after a foul on Jack Hunt and Williams punted the set piece down field towards Diédhiou. The striker turned away from Kal Naismith and unleashed a long-range dipping shot which David Marshall flicked on to the bar and out for a corner.
The visitors were forced into their final change with 20 minutes remaining when Smith hobbled off to be replaced by Tommy Rowe, minutes before Bentley smothered a close-range header from Wigan substitute Joe Garner. He would combine with his fellow substitute Joe Gelhardt soon after but the latter flashed a curling shot narrowly over the bar from the edge of the area.
But City would save their own attacking action for the final 15 minutes and while it may have been against the run of play, they found themselves 1-0 up through the recently returned Paterson.
Diédhiou slipped the pass into the attacking midfielder who made no mistake in placing the ball low past Marshall to draw first blood.
The celebrations had barely finished when City doubled their advantage within minutes and this tie the roles were reversed as Paterson flicked the ball into Diédhiou’s path, who calmly slotted the ball into the net.
Paul Cook’s side still had chances to get back into the game but Bentley thwarted Lowe, before Gelhardt fired wide as their dominance in possession failed to convert into those all-important goals.
Not that City would care as their character and grit would ensure the three points would be travelling back to Bristol.
Next up for City is that third round FA Cup replay away to Shrewsbury Town on Tuesday night.
- Lee Evans, Joe Williams, Josh Windass
- Paterson (77') , Diédhiou (79')
- Han-Noah Massengo, Korey Smith, Marley Watkins