Wigan Athletic v Posh Nationwide League Div 2 – 1 Apr 02
Venue: JJB Stadium, Wigan
Score: Peterborough Utd 1 v Wigan Athletic 2
Referee: Anthony Bates
Despite a much improved second half performance the Posh could not make up for their poor showing in the opening 45 minutes as they slipped to a 2-1 defeat at Second Division big spenders Wigan Athletic at their impressive JJB Stadium home.
Wigan were first out of the blocks following a minute silence held as remembrance for the Queen Mother, and they posed their first threat on four minutes when Steve McMillan curled a free kick into the arms of Posh goalkeeper Mark Tyler
The Posh keeper could do little to prevent the home side taking the lead less than 60 seconds later however, as striker Andy Liddell curled an immaculate effort into the top corner from outside the penalty area.
The former Barnsley man found the net again on 12 minutes, ramming the ball home from 15 yards after seeing his initial free kick blocked by the Posh wall.
Barry Fry had opted for an attack minded line up, but his side were on the back foot for the majority of the opening exchanges and were relieved to see Wigan’s new signing Jason Jarrett nod wide following Scott Green’s pinpoint centre.
Richard Forsyth looked to pull a goal back when charging through the home side’s half and shooting from distance on the quarter hour mark, but Latics goalkeeper John Filan was equal to the test with an easy save.
Liddell was proving to be a real menace and his beautifully sprayed 19th minute pass sent Gary Teale soaring clean through on goal – but Posh were relieved to see Teale scuff the ball way over the crossbar.
Liddell embarked on a search for his hat-trick with just 25 minutes on the clock, but his eventual shot following a crafty run looped off Andy Edwards and into the grateful arms of Tyler.
The visiting rearguard was finding Liddell too hot to handle and it took a diving save from Tyler again to deny the nippy striker with a 20 yard volley.
Leon McKenzie was not enjoying a productive first half, but he did flash a shot wide four minutes before the break, and he also saw an effort clatter the post from a deep David Farrell corner with half time approaching.
The rain began to downpour early in the second half and it was Fry’s men who adapted better to the conditions.
Francis Green produced a bursting run down the right hand side three minutes into the half before crossing low to the far post – where Farrell connected with a neat finish to mark his comeback from suspension with his eighth goal of the season.
Lee McCulloch rose highest to meet a corner from Scott Green on minutes, but he could only plant his header wide of the upright.
Neither side created many goal scoring opportunities in the next quarter of an hour although Jason De Vos saw a powerful header from another Green flag kick blocked with 70 minutes on the clock.
Green nodded a deep Farrell cross well wide of the mark as Posh looked for an equaliser in the 73rd minute and the visitors attempted to catch the Latics on the counter attack shortly after, but the move broke down when McKenzie opted to pass to Green when well placed.
Helgi Danielsson was clipped 23 yards from goal with two minutes remaining and from the resultant free kick Jimmy Bullard brought a fine stop from Filan.
Joseph picked up the loose ball wide on the right side of the penalty box, but De Vos, with McKenzie lurking at the back post cleared his square ball.
Posh: Mark Tyler, Helgi Danielsson, Andy Edwards, Marc Joseph, Dennis Pearce, David Farrell, Jimmy Bullard, Richard Forsyth, Andy Clarke, Francis Green and Leon McKenzie.
Unused subs: Simon Rea, Matthew Gill, David Oldfield, Neale Fenn and Dan Connor.
Wigan: John Filan, Jason De Vos, Steve McMillan, Arjan De Zeeuw, Andy Liddell, Lee McCulloch (sub Neil Roberts), Scott Green, Paul Mitchell, Gary Teale, Jason Jarrett and Matt Jackson.
Unused subs: Pat McGibbon, Lee Ashcroft, Ian Kilford and Paul Santus.
Goal scorer: Andy Liddell (2) 5 mins and 12 mins.