Rovers upset the odds with big win – Doncaster Rovers 3 Wigan Athletic 0

Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster Rovers

The view from the away end

Few people could have predicted this result prior to kick off, as Doncaster had not won for eight and Wigan were unbeaten in six Championship games under Uwe Rösler, but it was Rovers who defied the odds to win 3-0.

Rovers striker Chris Brown grabbed the first for Doncaster in the seventh minute and the home side rarely looked in difficulty as the Latics had an off day.

James Coppinger scored the second following a 52nd-minute goalmouth scramble and Brown added the third from the penalty spot in the 69th minute as Rovers provided one of the shocks of the day in the Championship.

Rösler made six changes from the starting line-up at MK Dons in the midweek FA Cup win, with new signing Nicky Maynard making his first start, and on loan Everton defender Ty Browning making his full debut for the club.

The Wigan manager opted for another experimental defensive back line with Chris McCann dropping into defence alongside Emmerson Boyce and Leon Barnett with Ty Browning and Jean Beausejour as the wing backs.

Both teams looked threatening in the opening few minutes and Leon Barnett put a free header high over the cross-bar from a corner before Brown put Rovers ahead.

Some neat interplay on the right provided an opportunity for Paul Keegan who chipped the ball to the unmarked Brown, who scored comfortably from 10 yards out.

Wigan then responded with Maynard having a shot on the turn tipped over the bar by Ross Turnbull.

Nick Powell was then played through the middle by Jordi Gomez and tried to lob the advancing keeper Turnbull, but his attempt just cleared the cross-bar.

An equaliser at that time might have steadied Wigan, but they continued to under perform and looked unbalanced in defence with McCann particularly ill at ease in a defensive role.

Doncaster nearly went further ahead when Coppinger had a near-post header cleared off the line and another effort was well saved by Al Habsi.

The home side were denied again just on the stroke of half time when a header from Brown was scrambled away by McCann.

Rösler reverted to a flat back four for the second period with McCann moving into his customary midfield position.

Wigan looked threatening and forced a couple of corners but the chances of a revival were quickly undone when Doncaster added a second goal in the 52nd minute.

Coppinger shot following a miss-kicked Leon Barnett clearance, Ali Al Habsi saved, but could only parry to his left. Coppinger then got back to his feet to squeeze the ball between the goalkeeper and the right post. But Confusion reigned as neither the referee nor linesman seemed confident of giving the goal as Browning seemingly cleared off the line.

The referee Keith Hill’s confusion was symptomatic of his poor officiating throughout. His decision-making was called into question on numerous occasions, particularly as some severe tackling on Wigan players went unpunished.

The Latics struggled to battle after the setback and in truth looked way off the form that had pushed them up the table under the new manager.

The result was confirmed six minutes later when Rovers left-back James Husband was fouled by Browning as he ran into the penalty area and Brown stepped up to score the third from the penalty spot.

Wigan’s poor performance was typified by their lack of serious goal attempts throughout the 94 minutes. Rovers ran out comfortable winners and Rösler will have much to contemplate after this first major setback of his Wigan managerial career.

Only the news of Bolton’s 7-1 thumping at Reading provided much-needed relief for nearly 2,000 Latics fans who had made the trip to South Yorkshire.

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About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in Championship, Chris Brown, Doncaster Rovers, James Coppinger, Wigan Athletic and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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