A Jordan Hugill goal after only seven minutes gave the Lilywhites the points in Friday night’s Lancashire derby at Deepdale.
The frontman deflected home Aiden McGeady’s shot to give the Lilywhites back-to-back home wins
Chris Maxwell and Simon Makienok were both rewarded for their performances at Bournemouth in midweek by getting their first league starts, with Greg Cunningham and Bailey Wright the other two survivors of the starting line-up at the Vitality Stadium.
And the Lilywhites got off to the perfect start going ahead after only seven minutes. A recycled right wing corner was played back in by Paul Gallagher; the ball breaking for Aiden McGeady in the ‘D’. The Irishman fired goalwards, the ball taking a wicked deflection off Hugill, flat footing Adam Bogdan in the Latics goal and rolling into the bottom right hand corner to put the home side in front.
The rest of the first half was devoid of too many other clear cut chances. The visitors’ main instigator was Jordi Gomez, who always looked a threat when given time on the ball. He saw two free kicks from around the 25 yard mark easily saved by Maxwell and just before half-time also drilled a shot into the side netting from the left hand corner of the box.
It was almost two for PNE and two for Hugill inside the first two minutes of the second half as Makienok held up a ball forward, laid it off to Alan Browne, who played in Hugill, who took a touch and fired goalwards, only for Bogdan to make a fingertip save around the left hand post.
Makienok was involved in another chance ten minutes after the interval as Gallagher delivered deep from the right, but three players came in together giving the Dane little chance to get up and keep the ball down and it landed on the roof of the net from ten yards out.
Wigan had a real chance on 62 minutes as Nathan Byrne found space in the box to collect Will Grigg’s deep cross and fired goalwards; Maxwell saved well with his legs, but the ball came back to the former Swindon man, only for his second effort to hit the outside of the right hand post from 15 yards out.
With five minutes to go Ben Pearson, a second half substitute, burst through the lines of the Wigan defenced and into the left hand corner of the box before unleashing a shot that beat Bogdan, but also beat the left hand upright by inches, but the visitors couldn’t threaten Maxwell as North End and he picked up a deserved clean sheet.
PNE line-up: Maxwell, Baptiste, Cunningham, Browne, Clarke (c), Wright, McGeady, Gallagher (Johnson, 72), Makienok (Pearson, 72), Hugill, Robinson. Subs not used: Lindegaard, Humphrey, Doyle, Pringle, Huntington.
Wigan Athletic line-up: Bogdan, Buston, Power, Grigg, Byrne (Davies, 79), Gomez, MacDonald (Powell, 52), Jacobs (Perkins, 59), Warnock, Wildschut, Burn. Subs not used: Jaaskelainen, Le Fondre, Woolery, Garbutt, Powell.
Attendance: 13,077 (2,527 Wigan Athletic fans)
Referee: Mr O Langford