Last-minute goal proves downfall
Latics were left to reflect on yet another hard luck story as they were beaten at home to Coventry City in npower League One.
And it doesn’t come any more cruel than losing to a 90th minute goal from a substitute as Cody McDonald broke Latics’ hearts.
Latics had looked the side more likely to win the game, even though it was not a great spectacle with both teams near the foot of the table.
Paul Dickov thought his side was unlucky, though he admitted the goal they conceded was "unacceptable."
Latics’ manager said: "In the second half I thought we would go on and win the game.
"We hit the post, had two cleared off the line and Matt Derbyshire was at least one yard onside when he was brought down by their keeper which ought to have been a penalty and sending off and we also should have had a penalty when Matt was taken out."
Dickov added the goal conceded was down to bad defending as they failed to heed a warning from moments earlier when Coventry almost stole ahead.
He continued: "Their goal was unacceptable. It is basic mistakes we are stood here talking about when we ought to have been talking about winning the game.
"Yet again there were encouraging signs but the boys are making me look stupid. All I seem to be saying is that we have played well and been unlucky.
"But if we are to defend like that, and not pick up players in the box, then we are going to lose games.
"We have to keep believing and continue to do the right things. I will never stop to do that and will keep working hard to turn things round. We need to start to get results, but I know we will."
Latics handed a first start to Jose Baxter as he replaced Robbie Simpson, the one change from the side which kicked off last Saturday at Brentford.
There was a bright start from Latics as they had three chances in the opening eight minutes.
Cristian Montano had a terrific shot which was well turned over by Joe Murphy, Baxter fired at the Coventry keeper and Jean-Yves M’voto.
After that initial flurry, the game became dour and disjointed with neither side looking like breaking the deadlock.
Conor Henderson curled a goal attempt narrowly wide for Coventry soon after the restart while Baxter’s drive from 30 yards crashed against the upright.
Latics came within a whisker of taking the lead midway through the second period when Lee Croft opened the visitors’ defence. Derbyshire met his low cross but Murphy pulled off a fine save while a follow-up effort was cleared off the line by Jordan Clarke.
Derbyshire also brought a good save from Murphy after producing a delightful turn to create an opening.
Coventry became more of a threat after bringing on McDonald – he was a Latics’ target before joining the Sky Blues last season – and John Fleck.
Fleck provided a great delivery for McDonald who just failed to connect cleanly in front of an open goal as he slid in.
He was the provider again for Jamie Reckord whose fiercely-struck shot was beaten away for a corner by Dean Bouzanis.
Latics were undone in the last minute when Reckord this time crossed from the left and McDonald stooped to head home.
It could conceivably have been a heavier defeat as in the fourth minute of stoppage time Bouzanis (pictured) pulled off a breathtaking double save to deny David McGoldrick and McDonald’s follow-up effort.
Certainly Aussie keeper Bouzanis has justified his recent selection ahead of Alex Cisak who has a battle on his hands to regain his first-team place on the evidence of Bouzanis’s displays against Brentford and Coventry.
Latics (4-4-2): Bouzanis; Wabara, M’voto, Byrne (Smith 90+1), Grounds; Croft, Furman, Wesolowski (Simpson 90+1), Montano; Baxter, Derbyshire. Subs (not used): Cisak, Brown, Tarkowski, M’Changama, Hughes.
Coventry (4-4-1-1): Murphy; Clarke (Edjenguele 86)), Wood, Brown, Reckord; Baker, Henderson (McDonald 51), Bailey, Moussa; McSheffrey (Fleck 67); McGoldrick. Subs (not used): Hussey, Dunn, Elliott, Barton.
The goal: McDonald (90) for Coventry.
Bookings: Montana (20), Croft (52) for Latics. McGoldrick (90+5) for Coventry.
Referee: Mr D Coote.
Attendance: 4,022 (562 visitors).