Latics on the brink – Wigan Athletic 0 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1

James Perch

Wigan captain James Perch had a goal disallowed

Wigan Athletic look destined for League One after a 1-0 home defeat to promotion chasing Wolves.

Latics will be relegated for the second time in three seasons if Rotherham avoid losing to Reading on Tuesday night. But if the Millers are beaten, Wigan must win against Brentford on the last day of the season and also hope that other results go their way.

In a must-win fixture Wigan dominated proceedings but fell to a sucker punch mid way through the first half.

A free-kick by Bakary Sako from the left evaded keeper Scott Carson and an unmarked Benik Afobe headed home comfortably at the back post to stun Wigan.

Wigan manager Gary Caldwell made one change to the side which defeated Brighton and Hove Albion last week with Emmerson Boyce replacing Don Cowie.

Latics started on the front foot and created a great opportunity after seven minutes; when James McClean fought his way into the box but smashed the ball into the side netting.

Latics were pushing Wolves back early on and were competing for every ball. Jermaine Pennant nearly got on the score sheet when he forced a mistake from Jack Price before forcing a good save from Tomasz Kuszczak.

Wigan looked the most likely to take the lead, but it was Wolves who went in front with their first attempt at goal.

Emmerson Boyce went for a 50/50 challenge with Scott Golbourne down the left hand side and was adjudged to have committed a foul.

From the resulting free-kick Sako crossed the ball to the back post and a trio of Wolves attackers were left unmarked and Wolves top scorer Afobe headed home.

It was a brutal set back for Wigan, for the next ten minutes they struggled to find any rhythm.

But just before half time Wigan might have drawn level when Boyce latched onto McClean’s cut back but he fired over the bar from the edge of the area.

Latics continued to press in the second half but Wolves were resolute and determined to secure the three points to stay in the promotion hunt.

Jason Pearce broke forward early in the half and set up McClean down the left, but the Irishman could only toe poke the ball over the bar.

As the half wore on Wolves grew in confidence and they might have been further ahead on 68 minutes when Dave Edwards forced a world-class save from Scott Carson to keep the scores level.

Gary Caldwell threw on strikers Marc-Antoine Fortune and Billy Mckay in an attempt to force an equaliser.

With fifteen minutes remaining McKay had his shot blocked by James Perch before the Wigan captain was able to turn the ball over the line, but unfortunately the linesman flagged for offside.

Latics kept pushing until the final whistle, but as throughout most of the season they lacked any cutting edge in the final third.

In injury time McClean clashed with Richard Stearman and was sent off for a second bookable offence, which only added to a thoroughly gloomy day for the Latics.

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About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in Benik Afobe, Championship, James McClean, James Perch, Wigan Athletic, Wolves and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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