Lions cause an upset at the DW Stadium – Wigan 0 Millwall 1

Carlos Edwards

Carlos Edwards scored the winner for Millwall

Wigan suffered a setback in their pursuit of a Championship play-off place when they were defeated 1-0 by Millwall at the DW Stadium.

The relegation threatened Lions produced a major upset on the night to move within two points of fourth bottom Charlton Athletic.

Carlos Edwards deflected 22nd minute effort was enough to separate the two teams and will mean that the FA Cup semi-finalists will have an anxious wait before they can confirm a Championship play-off spot.

With the FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal in mind the Wigan manager Uwe Rosler made eight changes from the starting line-up that defeated Leeds United at the weekend. Only Emmerson Boyce, Martyn Waghorn and Rob Kiernan remained from Saturday’s starters.

Shaun Maloney made his first appearance since being injured in mid-September and Jean Beausejour returned from suspension.

Wigan struggled to find any cohesion in the opening stages and it was the Lions who had   an early opportunity to open the scoring when James McClean tripped Lee Martin on the edge of the area and from the resulting free-kick Owen Garvan fired over the cross-bar.

Martyn Woolford then had a great chance to open the scoring for Millwall but he headed Martin’s cross straight at Scott Carson from only six yards out.

On 22 minutes the visitors were ahead as Edwards shot from 20 yards deflected off Leon Barnett to loop over Carson with the Wigan keeper stranded.

It was no more than the Lions deserved as they had been the better team in the opening phase of the game.

But as the half wore on Latics responded with McClean firing over after being set up by Collison and Waghorn headed McClean’s cross wide at the back post.

Waghorn then crossed for Nicky Maynard, but the Cardiff loanee could only volley tamely wide of David Forde’s right-hand post.

Maynard nearly got on the score sheet just before the break but he fired high and wide from another good position.

Wigan were looking deficient in central midfield with Josh McEachran looking out of sorts and it was no surprise that he was replaced by James McArthur during the interval. Marc-Antoine Fortune also coming on for the ineffective Maynard.

Early in the half Fortune headed narrowly wide from Collison’s cross and McClean fired just over from 25 yards as Latics pushed for an equaliser.

The home team were now well on top and substitute Nick Powell had two great opportunities to draw Latics level. First he had his shot deflected over from James McArthur’s cross and then he blasted over from Maloney’s superb cut-back.

Millwall were defending in-depth, but Latics should have drawn level when Jack Collison’s shot curled wide after excellent work by Beausejour’s on the left hand side.

It was nearly all Latics now, but the visitors could have sealed the points on 80 minutes, but substitute Steve Morison and Woolford were both denied by Scott Carson at close range.

Fortune might have levelled in injury time but he fired straight at the Lions’ keeper and the game was lost.

Rosler’s eight changes had been disruptive and with one eye on Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final Wigan had struggled to hit their usual form.

The one positive to come out of the game was the return to action of long-term absentee Shaun Maloney. The creative Scottish international lasted the full ninety minutes and put in a sterling performance. He will surely now play some part in the semi-final.

About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in Carlos Edwards, Championship, Millwall, Uwe Rösler, Wigan Athletic and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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