N'Zogbia inspires Latics into Fourth Round of cup
WIGAN ATHLETIC 4
N'Zogbia, 47, 66
HULL CITY 1
Report by Paul Chialton
After a fairly non-descript first 45 minutes this encounter burst into life when Charles N'Zogbia was introduced to the game at half-time.
The Frenchman exploded onto the scene scoring twice, the first of which Latics' first goal of the new decade, and setting up another for James McCarthy to score his first goal in a Latics shirt, sending Wigan Athletic through to the Fourth Round of the FA Cup.
The home side actually found themselves behind at the break, a Geovanni free-kick putting the visitors ahead, but despite an air of frustration it was never questioned who was in control of the game.
N'Zogbia's performance gave his side the much needed creativity and cutting edge they so craved, time after time running at the opposition defence and working his way into a number of dangerous positions.
His offerings to the game came after just two minutes when, slipped through on goal by Jason Scotland, he calmly slipped the ball underneath Boaz Myhill to equalise, and bring the DW Stadium to life.
Inspired by the Frenchman Latics held all the momentum and pushed forward in search of a second goal.
Man of the Match, James McCarthy's deflected effort gave Latics the lead on 66 minutes.
It came 15minutes later and it was N'Zogbia who played a pivotal role once again, beating his man out wide and squaring for James McCarthy 20 yards out.
The Republic of Ireland youngster had been impressive making his first start since August, controlling the midfield well from back to front and looking very clever in possession, and when his chance came he showed great composure in taking it; brushing by one challenge and squeezing a left-footed shot underneath the 'keeper to send Latics 2-1 up.
But Martinez's side weren't done there though, N'Zogbia had other plans! This time the inspirational winger received the ball short from a corner, twisted into the area and bent the ball into the bottom left corner just to confirm how this game would result.
It was then a case of playing down the clock and looking comfortable on the ball; Ben Watson made his return from a loan-spell at QPR and was quite impressive, moving the ball round well and getting his head when he was in control.
But just to raise the home fans' smiles further Scott Sinclair decided to get in on the act as well. The winger had been in blistering form throughout, terrorising the Hull defence with his pace and direct running and he got his rewards at the death, receiving a through-ball from McCarthy and blasting one into the roof of the net from a tight angle. A fantastic finish that his performance thoroughly deserved.
In all it was a great night for Latics, with those players coming into the team giving an excellent account of themselves and no doubt posing a few selection head-aches for the gaffer ahead of next weekend's clash with Aston Villa.
Latics: Pollitt; Melchiot, Bramble, Amaya, Figueroa; Thomas, Koumas (N'Zogbia 45); Sinclair, McCarthy, Rodallega (Watson, 78); Scotland
Subs: Nicholls, Edman, Boyce, Gomez, Bouaouzan
Hull: Myhill; Mendy, Zayatte, Mouyokolo, Kilbane; Cairney, Garcia, Halmosi (Boateng, 72), Geovanni; Ghilas (Cullen, 67), Vennegoor of Hesselink (Altidore, 79)
Subs: Duke, Dawson, Devitt, Doyle