LATICS SAVED BY JACOBS’ CRACKER
WIGAN Athletic’s impressive away run continued with a draw at mid-table Scunthorpe and manager Gary Caldwell says his side have Michael Jacobs to thanks.
The Latics have still not lost on the road in the league since September after the winger struck his seventh goal of the campaign.
That brought them level on the back of Luke Williams’ close-range opener to leave Wigan four points inside the play-offs.
“It was a great goal and a great performance from Michael. Wherever he popped up on the park he caused Scunthorpe problems,” said Caldwell.
“He had a real change of pace and put them under pressure.
“It was a good game between two teams who both wanted to win a hotly-contested match.
“Though we lost a goal at a bad time, we got our goal back and from then on I thought we controlled the game, although in second half it wouldn’t just quite drop in the box for us.
“I’m very pleased with how we’re playing. For any team to go three games away from home and pick up seven points shows you how well they are playing.”
This was Scunthorpe’s best performance in front of their own fans – where they are without a win since October – for some time.
They opened the scoring on 20 minutes after Dutch striker Kevin van Veen did well to stride infield and across the perimeter of the penalty area. His pass to full-back Scott Laird on the overlap was promptly whipped into the box at pace and Williams volleyed in.
If the Iron’s goal had come about from fine team play, Wigan’s equaliser was born from the individual brilliance of Jacobs.
He drifted inside to bring under control a sweeping pass through the middle of the park and then clinically fired into the bottom corner.
After the break Scunthorpe seemed to spend more time in the final third, but the Latics had more of a grip on the game and forged the better chances.
On-loan winger Yanic Wildschut was their biggest threat, with his incredible turn of pace causing the home side numerous problems.
But it was a story of what might have been, with Wildschut firing across the face of goal and defender Jason Pearce, a tower of strength at the back, unable to get any purchase on a shot following Jacobs’ clever run up the byline.
“We were the worthy team to go in front and we dealt with their threat really, really well,” said Scunthorpe manager Mark Robins.
“Our use of the ball was decent. It was a decent point, but I’m a little bit disappointed because we could have nicked something at the end.
“A draw was probably a fair result, but we’d have liked to have got all three points.
“We missed a couple of the opportunities we created in the second half and failed to make the most of some dangerous delivery into the box.
“For the first game of 2016, we’ll take that. We can build on quite a lot.”
ALL SQUARE: Michael Jacobs celebrates scoring the equaliser for Wigan STAR MAN STEPHEN DAWSON