Match: Wigan Athletic v Aston Villa
Date: March 18, 2017
Competition: Sky Bet Championship
Venue: DW Stadium
Weather: 11C, rain
James Chester (73 mins)
Scott Hogan (84 mins)
Scott Hogan scored his first Villa goal as the claret and blues secured a hard-fought 2-0 win over Wigan at the DW Stadium.
Hogan, returning from almost a month on the sidelines, headed home Albert Adomah’s cross shortly after James Chester had put the visitors ahead.
Striker Hogan, Henri Lansbury and Jack Grealish started on the bench following their respective injury lay-offs while Mile Jedinak continued in the heart of defence with Alan Hutton on the right of a four-man midfield.
In what were tricky, wet conditions from kick-off, the visitors began strongly, dictating the tempo and fashioning a number of set pieces.
There was a let off for Villa with just under a quarter of an hour on the clock – Omar Bogle, signed from Grimsby Town in January, rounded goalkeeper Sam Johnstone but fired an attempt into the side netting.
Bogle also went close later on in the opening exchanges, a rush of blood to the head meant he was unable to keep his strike down.
Steve Bruce’s men were always a threat with their pace and both Jonathan Kodjia and Gary Gardner saw efforts blocked in quick succession.
To their credit, the Latics grew in confidence and only a fine low save from stopper Johnstone denied Michael Jacobs from distance to keep the scores level at the interval.
The start to the second period was equally frantic.
Lively Jacobs stung the palms of Villa’s on loan Manchester United stopper once more before a clever interplay between Hutton and the overlapping James Bree ended with Conor Hourihane’s deft attempt which was well wide.
Lansbury and Hogan were introduced for the final half an hour and make an instant impact.
Former Nottingham Forest skipper Lansbury took two corners in quick succession, both narrowly missed by anyone in claret and blue.
After a few let offs and heart in mouth moments, the claret and blues took the lead.
Chester headed home his second goal of the season with just under 15 minutes of the regulation 90 remaining before Hogan opened his account to seal Villa’s fifth Championship victory in six matches.
WIGAN: Gilks, Buxton (C), Morsy (Gilbey 81), Obertan (Colclough 61), Kellett (Connolly 54), Bogle, MacDonald, Jacobs, Morgan, Hanson, Burn. Unused subs: Haugaard, Perkins, Power, Bruce.
VILLA: Johnstone, Bree (Hogan 60), Chester (C), Jedinak, Taylor, Hutton, Hourihane, Gardner (Lansbury 60), Amavi, Adomah (Elphick 84), Kodjia. Unused subs: Bunn, Richards, Grealish, Davis.
Referee: Mr T. Harrington
Assistant Referee 1: Mr J. Wilson
Assistant referee 2: Mr M. Dwyer
Fourth Official: Mr M. Heywood