Preston North End 1-4 Wigan Athletic
Roberto Martinez got his first win has Latics manager at Preston last night and very impressive it was.
The 15 mile journey up the M6 didn`t take anything out of the team as they were very comfortable winners and really looked a class above Preston, who at times found it difficult to get the ball off Roberto`s men.
Goals from Hugo Rodallega and Charles N`Zogbia in the first half followed by a Michael Brown effort and Jason Scotland debut goal in the second half didn`t flatter the Latics, former Wigan striker Neil Mellor hit a consolation for North End late on.
The game started bright and it was evident from early on that Martinez has got the team playing a different style, no hoof ball evident, just patient possession football and lots of passing and good movement with midfield trio Thomas, Cattermole and Gomez looking very good.
Charles N`Zogbia was proving a constant threat down the Latics right and he tested Wayne Henderson on a couple of occasions before the Latics finally took the lead on 36 minutes.
Lee Cattermole zipped a glorious cross field ball to the feet of N`Zogbia who cut inside his marker and hit a perfect cross onto the head of Hugo Rodallega and the Colombian hitman made no mistake from 4 yards planting his header into the back of the Preston net.
Two minutes later it was 2-0 this time provider turned taker, Charles N`Zogbia went on another mazy run, cut inside and hit a delightful shot from the edge of the box into the goal just inside Hendersons near post.
On half time Hendry Thomas almost made it three, he hit a swerving daisy cutter from all of thiry yards that deceived Henderson in the Preston goal and squirmed under his body and then rolled agonisingly wide for a corner.
The second half started and both sides made several changes with the Latics bringing on Erik Edman, Rachid Bouaouzan, Jason Scotland, Michael Brown, Cho Won-Hee and Paul Scharner but the pattern of play remained the same.
Latics again dominated and it was no surprise when the third goal was scored by Michael Brown, following a delightful set up by Jason Scotland, Brownie smashed a side footed volley into the back of the net from 12 yards.
Latics were now so much in control of the game it was almost embarrassing and they were having a host of chances before Scotland made it 4-0 on 70 minutes.
Brown had a thunder bolt saved by the Preston keeper who spilled the ball, Scotland reacted the quickest and slammed home into the empty net his debut goal.
Former Latics player Neil Mellor scored a consolation for Preston with 2 minutes remaining.
Overall a very positive sign of things to come, the Latics look strong in the midfield, though a little unbalanced at times with left footed N`Zogbia playing wide right, the defence wasn`t too happy at defending set pieces but very comfortable in possession. An excellent first win and work out.
Preston - Henderson, Hart, Trotman, Chilvers, Nolan, Nicholson, Carter, Jones, Wallace, Brown, Elliott. Subs: Lonergan, Davidson, Chaplow, Sedgwick, Parkin, Mellor, Hawley.
Latics - Kirkland, Melchiot, Boyce, Bramble, Figueroa, de Ridder, Cattermole, Thomas, Gomez, N'Zogbia, Rodallega. Subs: Pollitt, Scharner, Brown, Bouaouzan, Cho, Scotland, Kupisz, Cywka, Routledge, Holt, Watson.
Referee: Graham Salisbury (Preston)
Attendance: 3,645 (2,000 from Wigan)
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