Tilt’s late winner hands Wigan the points against Blackpool
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PA Sport Staff
Press Association
Curtis Tilt headed in Wigan’s winner (Tess Derry/PA)
Curtis Tilt headed in Wigan’s winner (Tess Derry/PA)

Wigan started life without Leam Richardson by coming from behind to snatch a first Sky Bet Championship win in eight matches with a 2-1 victory at home to Blackpool.

Latics, with Rob Kelly in caretaker charge, were slow to settle into the game, with Blackpool striker Gary Madine firing just wide of Jamie Jones’ right-hand post in the early stages.

Wigan’s cause was helped inside 17 minutes, however, when the visitors were reduced to 10 men after skipper Marvin Ekpiteta was shown a straight red card.

Ekpiteta had been favourite to reach a bouncing ball first, but his hesitation allowed Charlie Wyke to toe the ball over his head.

The collision was inevitable and, with no covering defender, referee Andy Davies ruled it the denying of a clear goalscoring opportunity.

Credit to Blackpool, they began to dominate even with a man down and took the lead 11 minutes before the break.

Madine appeared to barge into defender Jack Whatmough as they contested a long ball from the back.

In the absence of a whistle, Madine controlled the ball on his chest before rifling a thunderous strike past Jones and into the top corner of the net.

Wigan were further hampered by the loss of Whatmough – last year’s player of the year – through injury, with Joe Bennett coming on in his place.

The home side were struggling to get anything going and their frustration began to show when Callum Lang was given a yellow card for sarcastically applauding the official who had – finally, in the player’s view – awarded him a free-kick.

That was Davies’ last involvement, with a new referee coming out for the second period.

And Wigan also came out after half-time a different side, levelling the scores within nine minutes of the restart.

James McClean’s inswinging corner from the right-hand side ended up in the back of the net, with Wyke cheekily claiming he got a touch on the goal-line.

It was all Wigan at this point, with another corner being half-cleared to Graeme Shinnie, who lashed his shot wide from 15 yards.

The visitors were just about managing to keep their opponents at arm’s length, but their resistance was finally broken with a minute to go.

Wigan captain Tendayi Darikwa’s cross from the right was a beauty, and former Seasiders defender Curtis Tilt powered home a header from close range to the delight of most inside the DW.

The win sees Wigan leapfrog their opponents into third-bottom spot.

And there could well be another managerial change in the offing, with the Blackpool fans loudly chanting ‘You’re getting sacked in the morning’ in the direction of under-fire boss Michael Appleton.


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