FULL TIME: Wigan Athletic 3 Wanderers 2
WANDERERS paid the price for arriving late to the derby – gifting Wigan a two-goal advantage before finally getting into the game at the DW Stadium.
By the time Dougie Freedman’s side had even mustered a shot on goal the Latics had put themselves ahead with a Ben Watson penalty and a brilliant volley from Nick Powell.
Neil Danns signalled the comeback shortly after the break before Andre Moritz equalised from the spot on the hour – it was all set up for Wanderers to complete a memorable day, only for Callum McManaman to rip up the script and restore Wigan’s lead, giving Uwe Rosler a win in his first home game in charge of the Latics.
It took Wanderers more than half an hour to look anything like the side that had beaten Doncaster a week earlier, and by then, they were two goals down.
Matt Mills was pulled up by the referee’s assistant for handballing Ben Watson’s cross 10 minutes in, that despite referee Kevin Friend initially waving away Wigan appeals from a much closer range.
Watson converted the penalty to lift the home side and with Callum McManaman causing no end of problems for Alex Baptiste down the right, the Latics quickly sensed a second.
It arrived on 28 minutes thanks to a superb volley from Manchester United loanee Nick Powell, who reacted first to hook McManaman’s half-cleared cross over Andy Lonergan into the net.
That signalled a sudden improvement in the Whites, and they fashioned a few good opportunities to get back into game.
Scott Carson reacted smartly to push away Joe Mason’s downward header before Leon Barnett cleared off the line when Andre Moritz powered another header in on goal at the far post.
Matt Mills then tried to emulate Powell’s acrobatics with a volley at the other end, sending his effort whistling just past the post.
A good start to the second half was absolutely crucial, and thankfully just three minutes after the restart Wanderers had halves their deficit.
Moritz hooked a cross back from the right and Danns led a queue of players looking to cash in, heading down over the line.
Though Uwe Rosler tried to shore the game up by withdrawing a striker, it became even more open, and with 4,634 Wanderers fans screaming for their side to get forward another goal was inevitable.
Again, Friend would play a decisive part. Emmerson Boyce raised his boot to try and clear under pressure from Chung Yong and certainly made contact with the Korean as he jumped.
The referee deemed it an illegal challenge and so granted Moritz a chance to level the scores from the spot, something the Brazilian did gleefully in front of the travelling fans.
It looked like only one side could go on and win the game – and then out of nowhere, Wigan seized the advantage again.
After Wanderers had failed to deal with a corner, McManaman steered the ball in past Lonergan from six yards out to restore the lead.
Both sides swapped chances – Powell heading narrowly wide for Wigan and Mason stabbing a shot inches away from the target for the Whites.
Carson also made a great save from Moritz’s fizzing low shot and then punched a header away from under his own bar from Baptiste.
Despite a frantic final five minutes there was no further drama for Carson or Wigan to deal with and so Freedman's side passed up another opportunity to break into mid table.