The Latics failure to convert chances into goals came back to haunt them in this game, within a minute of Grant Holt putting a one on one with Brighton keeper Tomasz Kuszczak the wrong side of the far post, Andrew Crofts was first to react to a fantastic save by Lee Nicholls and headed the rebound home from close range, the goal gave Brighton the points and inflicted the first home defeat of the season on Owen Coyle’s team
A very good first half showing from the Latics, with Marc Albrighton looking lively, but chances went begging once again, it was Brighton though who first showed, Lee Nicholls producing an excellent save from full back Bruno Saltor’s rasping drive with just 10 minutes of the game gone.
This seemed to wake the Latics up and they should have taken the lead, a smart one-two between Watson and Fortune left the Latics midfield man with a clear sight of goal but he fired wide of the far post, next up was Nick Powell who swivelled after receiving the ball from Fortune 16 yards out, he fired straight at Kuszczak when either side would surely resulted in the Latics taking the lead
With the first half running down Powell burst in to the area onto Fortune’s through ball, but the young midfield man drilled his shot wide of the post from a good position. Just before the half-time whistle blew Fortune had an opening but he also fired wide
From the restart Brighton had a glorious chance, a Barnes cross found Forster-Caskey at the far post but Nicholls reacted well to gather the Brighton mans header
McManaman was next to go close for the Latics, a strong run and cut inside in typical McManaman fashion, his long range drive was well saved by Kuszczak though
Fortune was replaced by Holt on 60 minutes and McClean came on for a tiring Albrighton on 65
The best chance of the game so far fell to Grant Holt on 70 minutes, closing down Brighton centre back Gordon Greer, he easily robbed the lumbering defender of the ball and ran through on goal, Kuszczak came rushing out and Holt tried to curl the ball round him, unfortunately he hit it past the post and the chance was gone
Within a minute the ball was down the other end of the ground, a cross from the right found Forster-Caskey whose first time effort was superbly saved by Nicholls, the ball looped up and with both Shotton and Watson pressurising Crofts managed to get his head on the ball and score from 2 yards
James McClean tried to inject some directness into the Latics play, a great run and cross was met by Holt who headed down into the bottom corner, but Kuszczak managed to get down well and flick the ball out with a smart save
Latics inability to hit the target is a major concern so far this season, creating chances doesn’t seem to be a problem, making something out of those chances does and it is a problem that needs sorting quickly
Latics – Nicholls, Shotton, McCann, Watson, McManaman (Gomez 76), Boyce (C), Powell, Perch, Barnett, Fortune (Holt 60), Albrighton (McClean 65).
Unused subs – Pollitt, Rogne, McArthur, Espinoza
Brighton – Kuszczak, Saltor, Greer (C), Upson, Ward, Forster-Caskey, Ince (Bridcutt 77), Crofts, Lopez (El-Abd 90), Barnes, Conway.
Unused subs – Ankergren, Lita, Agustien, Orlandi, Calderon