Wigan Athletic progressed to the fourth round of the FA Cup as they eased past Nottingham Forest 2-0 at the DW Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Will Grigg scored for Wigan on the verge of the half-time whistle and it was their first in the competition for 1,001 days.
In-form winger Yanic Wildschut extended Latics’ lead midway through the second-half after combining well with captain Stephen Warnock.
Forest had a chance to come back into the game late on when Lica was tripped inside the area.
Wigan’s new goalkeeper Jakob Haugaard, who signed on loan from Stoke City yesterday, denied Eric Lichaj’s penalty with a solid save.
Warren Joyce’s side started the game brightly, with Nick Powell coming close to scoring from a low-drilled free-kick five minutes in.
However, former England U21 star Powell was forced to leave the field just minutes later, owing to injury and was replaced by Spaniard Jordi Gomez.
Latics put the visitors under a lot of pressure in the early stages and Michael Jacobs nearly put Wigan in the lead with a cracking effort, which went just inches past the post.
The game was looking promising for Warren Joyce’s outfit, with Wigan having far more chances in the opening 15 minutes.
Midfielder Sam Morsy, who had just returned from a loan spell at Barnsley, had a dig from the edge of the area but again it went wide of the mark.
Denmark international Nicklas Bendtner had a huge chance in the 18th minute but was later ruled offside.
Wigan ace Wildschut came into his own on the half-hour mark and troubled the away side’s defence with his quick bursts down the left wing.
Forest started to edge their way back into it later on in the half by having more possession, but Grigg nearly got on the end of a crisp Jacobs through ball bang in front of goal but Michael Mancienne recovered well.
The hosts drew first blood on the brink of half-time as a perfectly-timed cross was whipped in by Warnock and Grigg poked it home to make the score 1-0 to Wigan.
HALF TIME: Wigan Athletic 1–0 Nottingham Forest.
Latics restarted quickly as Jacobs panicked the Forest defence but his effort failed to hit the target and another one of his attempts was blocked just moments later.
Another chance come calling for Latics as Max Power put the ball into the box but Grigg couldn’t quite reach it and Forest cleared it away.
Philippe Montanier’s side struggled to cope with the Latics attack as Wildschut put Wigan further in front on the hour mark with a slick right-footed finish into the bottom corner from inside of the area.
Adam Le Fondre came on for Wildschut shortly after the goal and the striker did well on the wing as well as coming inside to support Grigg.
Wigan continued to press and motor their way up the field despite being in a comfortable 2-0 lead and Grigg was starting to set the DW alight with a red-hot performance up front.
Morsy had a terrific game playing alongside Shaun MacDonald and Gomez in midfield, being aggressive in defence as well as spraying passes left, right and centre.
Barcelona Academy product Gomez brought Lica down in the area in the 80th minute but new recruit and Adam Bogdan lookalike Haugaard pulled off a remarkable save to deny Lichaj.
Local lad Jordan Flores replaced Grigg with a few minutes remaining and the midfielder came close to scoring on the brink of full-time as his curling shot from outside the area just went wide and Latics progressed through to the fourth round of the FA Cup with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Nottingham Forest.
FULL TIME: Wigan Athletic 2–0 Nottingham Forest.
Stat: Jakob Haugaard kept his first clean-sheet while playing in a first-team game since coming over to England back in 2015.
Man of the match: Sam Morsy.
Wigan Athletic: 28. Jakob Haugaard; 6 Max Power, 3. Jake Buxton, 33. Dan Burn, 23. Stephen Warnock ©; 8. Sam Morsy, 16. Shaun MacDonald, 25. Nick Powell; 17. Michael Jacobs, 9. Will Grigg, 31. Yanic Wildschut.
Subs: 22. Jussi Jaaskelainen, 11. Adam Le Fondre, 14. Jordi Gomez, 15. Jordan Flores, 18. Kaiyne Woolery, 29. Luke Burke, 30. James Barrigan.
Nottingham Forest: 30. Stephen Henderson, 2. Eric Lichaj ©, 4. Michael Mancienne, 9. Britt Assombalonga, 11. Ben Osborn, 12. Nicolao Dumitru-Cardoso, 14. Nicklas Bendtner, 17. Hildeberto Pereira, 25. Jack Hobbs, 28. Thomas Lam, 41. Matty Cash.
Subs: 38. Vladimir Stojkovic, 5. Matt Mills, 18. Mustapha Carayol, 20. Lica, Damien Perquis, 37. Jorge Grant, 39. Apostolos Vellios.
By Drew Darbyshire (@DarbySports)