Latics sink ten man Rovers – Wigan Athletic 2 Blackburn Rovers 1

Emmerson Boyce

Emmerson Boyce vital header

A late headed winner by substitute Emmerson Boyce secured an important win for Wigan over ten man Blackburn.

The home team had gone behind after a mistake by keeper Scott Carson. But following the dismissal of Rovers captain Grant Hanley for striking Nick Powell, Latics gained the ascendancy and created numerous goal scoring opportunities.

However, it was not until substitute Grant Holt came off the bench in the 57th minute that Latics drew level. The former Norwich striker forcing Spurr into an own goal, before Boyce glanced home to grab all three points.

Wigan went into the derby fixture without a recognised striker due to a lengthening injury list. Midfielder Nick Powell was once again given the false number 9 position. Boyce was dropped to the bench with Thomas Rogne returning to the back line and James McClean replacing the injured Callum McManaman.

Gary Bowyer’s side were hoping to achieve a third Championship win after showing good form in their last two fixtures. Highly rated Rovers striker Jordan Rhodes started upfront despite a wrist injury.

Rovers adopted a physical approach in the opening exchanges and Wigan’s bench felt aggrieved that referee Stuart Attwell left some dubious challenges go unpunished.

The away team took an early 8th minute lead when the normally reliable Carson dropped a free-kick from Tom Cairney, allowing Tommy Spurr to drive home via a deflection.

James McArthur fired just wide of the upright but Wigan were struggling to cope with Rovers combative style until defender Hanley was dismissed in the 30th minute for striking Powell.

Wigan proceeded to dominate the game following the dismissal, with Jordi Gomez and Powell going close to scoring. But they were unable to penetrate the Rovers defence until Coyle introduced Holt and Boyce off the bench in the second half.

Holt had been absent from the Wigan team since being injured against Middlesbrough in August, but within minutes of his return he had made an impact; his header from a corner finding the net thanks to a Spurr deflection.

Wigan were now camped in the Rovers half and forced a succession of corners which were desperately defended by the Rovers back line and keeper Jake Kean.

Shots and crosses were raining into the Rovers penalty area but they could not get the winner until stoppage time.

James McClean fired into the side netting and Powell again went close before Boyce’s header from a Ben Watson free-kick ultimately proved decisive.

It’s been a good week for Wigan with the first Europa League win against Maribor and now an important Championship victory against local rivals Blackburn. The squad is still very depleted due to the long injury list but the players and manager should be congratulated for two excellent results in difficult circumstances.

About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in Blackburn Rovers, Championship, Emmerson Boyce, Grant Holt, Tommy Spurr, Wigan Athletic and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Latics sink ten man Rovers – Wigan Athletic 2 Blackburn Rovers 1

  1. Pingback: Latics sink ten man Rovers – Wigan Athletic 2 Blackburn Rovers 1 - Unofficial Network

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