Second-half fightback earns victory for Preston at home to Wigan
Preston overturned a half-time deficit to end a six-match winless home run with a 2-1 victory over Wigan.
Everton loanee Tom Cannon scored the winner in the 57th minute, shortly after Daniel Johnson had equalised from the penalty spot.
Substitute Robbie Brady was sent off in stoppage time for a second booking, but Preston’s 10 men survived late Latics pressure to claim three vital points.
Wigan were superior for large parts of the first half and deserved their interval lead, gained after Greg Cunningham turned Christ Tiehi’s shot into his own net.
But Ryan Lowe’s team returned rejuvenated after the break and, aided by some excellent goalkeeping from Freddie Woodman, did enough to inflict a first defeat on Wigan manager Shaun Maloney, who had begun his reign with six points from four games.
Maloney inherited a side low on confidence and horribly out of form following the wretched 59-day reign of Kolo Toure.
And following a couple of early Preston attempts from Cannon and Ryan Ledson, it was the impressive Tiehi who helped Wigan to take a 27th-minute advantage.
Seizing on a midfield stumble from Ledson, Tiehi charged forwards via a brisk exchange of passes with Ashley Fletcher, overcoming a narrow angle in the box with an accurate shot across Woodman.
Cunningham desperately tried to rescue his team but the defender’s touch sent the ball dribbling across the line.
Callum Lang twice attempted to double the visitors’ lead, with one bouncing effort comfortably fielded by Woodman and a strike from 18 yards skipping narrowly wide.
Preston, without a victory in their previous four matches, looked short on invention and imagination – but Johnson set about rewriting the narrative soon after the break.
The forward sped into the box to collect Cannon’s clever return pass and forced goalkeeper Ben Amos into an ill-judged challenge.
Johnson wrested the ball from Troy Parrott, who converted a penalty against Luton in Preston’s most recent home game, to finish into the bottom corner from 12 yards and grab his first goal of the season.
Wigan had conceded only once in Maloney’s opening four matches but had soon shipped two goals in the space of four minutes, with Alan Browne hooking a ball over the top to release Cannon into the box and he fired home off the inside of the far post to score his first goal in eight Preston appearances.
Woodman saved brilliantly down to his right when Wigan substitute Daniel Sinani took aim from range, and Sinani was off target with a presentable opportunity in the closing minutes.
Brady saw red after receiving his second caution for a careless challenge on Jack Whatmough, but bottom-of-the-table Wigan could not find an equaliser and have it all to do to avoid a fourth Sky Bet Championship relegation in nine seasons.