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Match Reports

Latics v Preston North End

6 October 2012

Latics v Preston North End

Latics clinched their first home win of the season in style with a 3-1 home victory against Preston North End in npower League One. 

The quality of the football as well as the goals resulted in the players leaving the pitch to a standing ovation. 

And it begged the question why it had taken Latics until their seventh home game to secure their first victory? 

Goals from Jose Baxter, Cristian Montano and Dean Furman capped an enjoyable afternoon in which Latics defeated the top-half Lilywhites in a most emphatic manner. 

Manager Paul Dickov was delighted with the victory as the team's fortunes have undergone a remarkable transformation in the last seven days. 

There was a mood of gloom and doom this time last week following the home defeat by Coventry City which left Latics in the bottom four. 

But back-to-back wins against Crewe and Preston have catapulted Latics towards mid-table. 

Dickov said: "We had to keep believing that we were doing the right things. What we have done on the training ground we have seen in patches in games. 

"But on Tuesday night and today we have set our standards. Again we were excellent from start to finish. 

"Nobody could have begrudged us our victory today and may be we should have had a few more goals. 

"Positionally and tactically the boys were excellent and they managed the game well. 

"We reproduced what we are capable of doing today, but now the big test is to do it again next Saturday at Sheffield United." 

Jean-Yves M'voto was ruled out through an ankle injury so James Tarkowski took over, the one change from the side which kicked off against Crewe in midweek. 

It was amazing the effect the win at Crewe had as there was a spring in the step of the players which wasn't in evidence during their disappointing run during September. 

In a low-key opening it was a case of both sides cancelling out the other with little goalmouth incident before Latics went ahead in the 27th minute. 

Preston right-back Jake King was book for a foul on Montano and Baxter inflicted further punishment with an exquisite free kick and his second goal for the club. 

It was struck over the defensive wall as keeper Thorsten Stuckmann could only push it against the inside of the upright. 

Latics were dealt a blow six minutes before half time when Tarkowski limped off with a hip problem. 

Connor Brown came on at right back as Reece Wabara switched to the centre of defence. 

Baxter was denied a second goal soon after the restart when Stuckmann pulled off an excellent stop to turn away his overhead kick. 

The second goal came in the 57th minute following a delightful passing move which would not have been out of place in the Barclays Premier League. 

Wabara played a pass to Montano and switched the ball inside to Baxter who found Jonathan Grounds who split the Preston defence with a beautiful ball enabling Montano to burst clean through and slot a low shot past Stuckmann. 

Matt Derbyshire had a couple of great chances to add a third goal, the second a fierce shot which was beaten behind for a corner by Stuckmann. 

The third goal came with 21 minutes left when Furman dispossessed Joel Byrom and raced clear before firing past Preston's German keeper. 

Preston's troubles increased when centre-back Shane Cansdell-Sherriff was sent off after collecting two yellow cards in the space of seven minutes. 

But the 10 men pulled a goal back in the fourth minute of stoppage time with virtually the last kick of the match. 

Grounds failed to find Dean Bouzanis with a header and substitute Akpo Sodje nipped in to poke the ball past Latics' keeper. 

It was sad because it was the only blemish on what had been just about the perfect afternoon for Latics. 

Latics (4-4-2): Bouzanis, Wabara, Tarkowski (Brown 39), Byrne, Grounds; Croft, Furman, Wesolowski, Montano (M'Changama 86); Derbyshire, Baxter (Simpson 84). Subs (not used): Cisak, Smith, Hughes, Winchester. 

Preston (4-4-2): Stuckmann; King, Cansdell-Sherriff, Wright, Laird; Amoo (Monakana 50), Byrom, Mousinho, Buchanan (Wroe 55); Beardsley (Sodje 64), Beavon. Subs (not used): Simonsen, Huntington, Procter, Welsh. 

The goals: Baxter (27), Montano (57), Furman (69) for Latics. 

Sending off: Cansdell-Sherriff (79) for Preston. 

Bookings: Derbyshire (60) for Latics. King (27) for Preston. 

Referee: Mr P Tierney. 

Attendance: 5,496 (1,971 visitors). 

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