Wigan Athletic started November with a victory and ended December in the same manner, meaning Latics saw out 2012 in 16th place in the Barclays Premier League.
Beating Tottenham Hotspur1-0
on November 3 through a Ben Watson
back post volley (pictured celebrating) gave Latics their first back-to-back wins of the season following on from October’s 2-1 win over West Ham United.
Latics’ performance at White Hart Lane that afternoon was efficient, limiting and Watson was clinical just at the right time.
The following two weeks saw Roberto Martinez’s men struggle however, with a 2-1
home defeat to West Brom
and losing 3-0
November 24, Anfield, 3.24pm marked an event in Wigan Athletic’s history that would later be ended in fairy tale circumstances, as it was the moment that Watson fractured his shin (pictured) in a collision with Raheem Sterling and began his journey into the club’s folklore.
The game against Liverpool was also the moment that a series of other unfortunate injuries started, with Ivan Ramis picking up an injury in the following game against Reading and Adrian Lopez becoming unavailable in mid-December after a knock against Norwich City
, meaning that along with long-term injury Antolin Alcaraz, Latics were missing half of their six natural central defenders.
Back to the football though and what better way to bounce back from a 3-0 defeat that to win a game 3-2
in the final minute of stoppage time in front of your home fans.
Step up Jordi Gomez (pictured celebrating late winner) to score his first career hat-trick, lifting Latics up to 15th in the league table.
Gomez equalised for 1-1, put Latics ahead for 2-1 with a diving header and then made it 3-2 with moments to spare after Reading had pulled level with just 10 minutes remaining.
Latics couldn’t build on the dramatic win and faced back-to-back defeats, starting with an unlucky 2-0
loss against Manchester City
despite matching the Premier League champions for the majority of the game, before a 3-0
away defeat against Newcastle United
, the first time the red third kit was worn.
A bounce back was needed and with bottom of the table Queens Park Rangers
the next visitors to the DW Stadium, the losing run was ended but Latics could only manage a 2-2
James McCarthy netted twice, putting Latics ahead early on and rescuing a draw after goals from Ryan Nelsen and Djibril Cisse had taken QPR into the lead.
The point proved crucial in keeping Martinez’s men out of the bottom three but was even more significant for Harry Redknapp’s QPR who set a Premier League record for a run of 16 games without a win from the start of the season.
Three more narrow defeats would follow; 2-1
away at Norwich, 1-0
at home to Arsenal
away at Everton
on Boxing Day before Latics saw the year out with a bang.
Villa Park was the venue and Latics knew that a victory over Paul Lambert’s side would leapfrog them out of the relegation zone and above Aston Villa
into 16th place.
The return of Ivan Ramis (pictured celebrating) was a bright start even before the game kicked off and appropriately it was the Spanish defender who started a memorable afternoon when he headed his side in front just three minutes in.
Emmerson Boyce and Arouna Kone quickly put the game beyond Villa shortly after half time and a 3-0
victory was a confident way for Latics to head into 2013.
December also marked the start of the FA Cup dream as the third round draw occurred on December 2 with Latics being drawn at home against AFC Bournemouth.
The season review will continue on Monday June 10 with those all-important FA Cup games included in January and February.
Above: A look at what is to come in part four - Latics line-up against AFC Bournemouth in third round of the FA Cup