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Wigan drag Huddersfield into drop zone as Whatmough heads home winner
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Jack Whatmough fired Wigan to victory against Huddersfield (Mike Egerton/PA)
Jack Whatmough fired Wigan to victory against Huddersfield (Mike Egerton/PA)

Jack Whatmough headed home the only goal with 10 minutes of the match left as Wigan moved off the foot of the Sky Bet Championship table with a 1-0 victory over managerless Huddersfield.

The big centre-back had admitted in the lead-up to the game it would be the biggest fixture since he arrived at Wigan from Portsmouth in the summer of 2021.

And he capped a man-of-the-match performance with the crucial contribution to give his side their first victory in three months – and their first under new manager Shaun Maloney.

Huddersfield – who slip to second from bottom – had got off to a disappointing start when they lost Ollie Turton in the opening exchanges to injury, with Will Boyle coming on to replace him.

In the melee that followed, it looked very much like a Wigan hand may have touched the ball but the referee waved play on.

At the other end, a James McClean corner was half cleared to Whatmough, who tried an overhead kick which went wide, but the referee awarded a free-kick for a high foot in any case.

Recent Huddersfield signing Anthony Knockaert also tried his luck from distance, with the ball flying just wide of a post.

He sank to his knees in anguish, but on the replay it looked like Ben Amos had it covered.

Amos was needed again moments later, easily clutching a free-kick from Hungbo, who was in the middle of most of what Huddersfield were producing.

There followed a comedy moment when the referee got in the way to break up a Wigan move, much to the annoyance of the home fans.

It threatened to get a lot worse when Knockaert took the ball into the Wigan box and seemed to be taken out, with the referee perhaps wisely waving play on.

Huddersfield were forced into a goalkeeping change in the second half, with Tomas Vaclik having to go off in some discomfort and Nicholas Bilokapic on for a rare start.

Knockaert also went off along with former Wigan man Martyn Waghorn, who had shown some signs of promise going forward.

Wigan had a couple of shouts for a penalty for handball, with the second one in particular appearing to be a decent shout, only for the official to again be unmoved.

The home side sent on Tom Pearce at left wing-back and the new man immediately went about sending over some quality balls from out wide.

It looked as though Huddersfield would manage to hold out, but their resistance was finally broken with 10 minutes to go.

McClean it was who sent over a deep corner, and Whatmough’s bullet header flew into the top corner to the delight of most inside the DW.


ChampionshipHuddersfield TownWigan
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