The away fixture of this early in the season was labelled save our season day by the Hammers. They went on to win 3-1 and I don’t think it quite had the desired effect. Here we are now six months on and they needed to win, or they were officially down and out. While on the other hand, Latics had to win, to keep their fate relatively in their own hands. It was all set to be a Premier League classic.
I have to say that is what we got, straight from the whistle Wigan were on the attack driving forward in numbers. Our first strike came close through Tom Cleverly, the England under 21 international’s strike, was blocked by the West Ham defence, but brought out a great save through Robert Green. Following this Diame tip toed his way through only to see his curling shot rise over the bar.
So with some great attack, how was our defence. Well following a ball to Ba, Alcaraz cleared and gave away a corner. The initial ball into the box was only half cleared to Hitzlsperger, who flicked the ball back in, finding a willing Ba who headed the ball in. 1-0 to West Ham and Wigan looked deflated.
The reaction was another Wigan onslaught, Diame again proving our best attacking out let, troubled Green with a long distance shot. Before he was put through by N’Zogbia, only managing to hit Green in the stomach, 26 minutes gone now and it was getting worrying with all these chances and no goals.
It even got one step worse for Latics, when a free kick given away by Watson. Hitzlsperger again, whipping in a ball, found Tomkins for him to head the ball across the box and find Ba again for his second of the game. 2-0 West Ham and Wigan looked like they would need a miracle to get back into the game.
It was then Rodallega’s turn to show his striking ability, twice he was denial by Green. The first effort, Rodallega took the ball on his chest and volleyed the ball via and over head kick; only to see Green dive frantically to his corner to save it. The second chance came via a Watson corner. The ball whipped in and Rodallega found some space and dived low to head the ball goal ward; only for Green to un-expectantly block the shot.
Second half and for once Martinez went for it, brining on Moses and Sammon for Cleverly and McCarthy. It did the trick and both players changed Latics look and feel. It allowed N’Zogbia to run freely in the midfield and cause no end of problems. One of which drew a free kick off Tomkins. The Frenchmen stepped up to the free kick, and with his left foot curled a wicked shot into the top corner. 2-1 game on, West Ham didn’t look safe anymore.
Ba could have wrapped it all up for them. Some sloppy defending by the Latics, let Hines free who slotted Ba through one on one, Alcaraz recovered well and managed to force Ba of the ball, letting it roll through to Ali. Then on went Wigan Diame picked the ball up who gave it off to N’Zogbia. N’Zogbia found Watson, who slotted Sammon through, the Irishman flicked the ball back towards goal and slotted home for his first in Latics blue. 2-2 and West Ham were rocking.
It suddenly became very open. Neither team could afford a point, it was either win or lose and that is what they teams went for. Both teams on the attack and neither could really muster anything much until the 90th minute when a flurry of chance all came along.
First West Ham came close, Cole connected with Hines cross, only managing to knock the ball out completely missing the target. So Latics had their life line and they took it. We nearly scored through Watson. The midfielder took the ball of Moses and let it run across his body, before firing a shot to the bottom corner, only to see it hit the post and bounce back out. That looked to be the last chance of the game.
Moses though picked the ball up in the West Ham half and found N’Zogbia. The Frenchman ran right and took Bridge on. Cutting in left footed in smashed a shot underneath Green and it squeezed in. 3-2 Latics had done it! Last year it was Arsenal this year it is West Ham.
West Ham go down, as we stay in the fight to stay up. All faces now look at towards the Britannia, in theory we don’t have to win, only lose less than Blackpool and Birmingham might do. But that is not the way to go into and game and shouldn’t be how we approach it. We still have to rely on other results, so a win is a must.
Whoever and whatever goes out to face Stoke, must go out fighting. Winning every ball and making every pass. This game is going to be hard, the hope is that Stoke have slowed down and are tired after three games in a week. In which case we may snatch a win and book us into the Premier League.
All I know is, that Sammon and Moses should and must start next week if we are to have any chance of winning, the pair changed the game yesterday. Maybe a revert back to 4-4-2 may be in order Martinez.
Come on Latics!