Preston North End threw away their chance of a Carling Cup run in the last 10 minutes against Wigan Athletic, succumbing to two late Latics goals.Advertisement
The result is sure to pile more pressure on manager Darren Ferguson as the Lilywhites continue their poor start to the campaign.
PNE took the lead through in-from Keith Treacy’s low free-kick from 25 yards, which deceived the wall and Wigan’s keeper Ali Al-Habsi.
The first half, in truth, was a fairly tepid affair, with neither side really creating chances. Wigan dominated with possession down both flanks but never really threatened Andy Lonergan in the Preston goal.
But PNE could have taken a two goal-cushion into the break after Scottish U21 international Paul Coutts rattled the post with a rasping drive.
The second half saw the game pick up the pace with the introduction of winger Charles N’Zogbia. Wigan were revitalised after a dismal first-half performance and took grasp of the game, although still lacking cutting edge up front, with Mauro Boselli often frustrated.
Coutts once again hit the woodwork, this time the bar from a Preston counter attack, after a sensational through-ball by Jon Parkin.
With Martinez’s side seemingly on the brink of a cup exit, the Latics pressure finally paid off with Jordi Gomez slotting home after a lovely solo run in the 87th minute.
The turnaround was completed two minutes into injury time as Wigan countered from their own half and Charles N’Zogbia finished the move after being set-up by James McCarthy.
Preston can take heart for containing a full-strength Wigan side for 80 minutes, but this doesn’t disguise their naivety in the latter stages here. Ferguson must now focus on Saturday’s game away at Coventry in hope that Preston can stop the rot in the Championship.
WIGAN – (4-2-3-1) Al-Habsi, Stam, Alcaraz, Caldwell, Figueroa, H.Thomas (McCarthy 71), Watson, Gomez, DiSanto, McArthur (N’Zogbia 45), Boselli
PRESTON (4-4-2) Lonergan, Gray, St.Ledger, W. Brown, Jones, Mayor, Coutts, Russell, Treacy (Parry 54), Barton, C. Brown (Parkin 54)
Attendance – 6,987