Luton 2-1 Wigan: George Moncur strikes late for Hatters
Report and highlights from the Sky Bet Championship clash at Kenilworth Road
Last Updated: 07/12/19 7:08pm
A dramatic late winner by George Moncur helped Luton stage an incredible fightback to defeat fellow relegation strugglers Wigan 2-1 at Kenilworth Road.
With the game entering stoppage time and Town having only just restored parity through substitute Callum McManaman's goal against his former side, fellow replacement Moncur converted from close range to lift the roof off the stadium.
It had looked like Wigan would pick up a first away victory in the Championship this term after leading through Kieffer Moore's 35th-minute strike.
However, a late red for Chey Dunkley saw Paul Cook's side play the final moments with 10 men and they couldn't hold out.
Town should have been ahead early on, Harry Cornick teeing up Andrew Shinnie, who skied well over from close range.
The hosts, eager to bounce back from a 7-0 hammering at Brentford last weekend, bossed the opening stages, Ryan Tunnicliffe denied by a fine goal-line clearance from Dujon Sterling and then Cornick heading off target.
Wigan went close after 22 minutes when leading scoring Dunkley's header from a deep cross flashed just inches past the post.
Matty Pearson put a great chance over the bar for the hosts from the recalled Luke Berry's free kick while Anthony Pilkington's blast from 25 yards didn't miss by too much either.
Antonee Robinson tried from range, bending wide of the post, before the Latics led after 35 minutes with Sterling sending over a fine cross and Moore rising magnificently to bullet his header beyond James Shea.
Moore then almost made it 2-0, diverting another Sterling cross just wide as Wigan looked to heap more misery on a Luton side looking short of confidence.
After the break, James Collins was denied by the reflexes of Jamie Jones after the keeper's poor clearance went straight at Berry.
The visiting stopper was called upon moments later as Cornick cut the ball back for Tunnicliffe, the midfielder's shot parried to safety.
Wigan had an opportunity to extend their lead, Gavin Massey's snapshot flashing wide, before Charlie Mulgrew fired a presentable free-kick over the bar.
The introduction of Moncur pepped up Town's attacking options, as did former Wigan winger McManaman, the latter trying to equalise against his old club, missing the bottom corner.
However, McManaman did level with three to go, firing home at the second attempt.
Then with Latics' centre-half Dunkley dismissed for a second yellow by hauling back Cornick, Moncur kept his nerve to fire home a first goal of the season and win it for the Hatters.
What the managers said...
Luton boss Graeme Jones: "I've got a big affinity with Wigan Athletic, but you've got your own professional pride to fight for and whoever was in the way, we needed to find a way. It came late and it came from two subs, but we found a way.
"The mentality has never been in question, I just think we got caught with our pants down last week, arousal levels were maybe low coming to Brentford, especially having to push so hard and concentrate so much against Leeds and Charlton.
"I had 10 players out of the 11 who started last week, Izzy Brown had a genuine injury, who presented themselves ready to play, no excuses."
Wigan boss Paul Cook: "I've never criticised the players, ever, and I'll stand by that. The reality is managers carry the can for players. I'll take the blame for everything, it's repetitive and boring. If you don't retain possession in the opposition's half the reality is they will get on top and hurt you. And we continually gave the ball away. People say it can't rain forever but it's not doing a bad job at the minute.
"We have a habit of games not going our way at that most crucial point, and that's heartbreaking, as we're not learning. It's like playing pass the parcel - you've got the prize in your hand and you let it go."