Latics’ survival hopes receive a setback – QPR 2 Wigan Athletic 1


Omar Bogle scored a penalty for Latics

Wigan Athletic remain rooted in the Championship relegation zone after a narrow 2-1 defeat to Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road.

Matt Smith opened the scoring for Rangers after only four minutes when he converted Conor Washington’s cross from 12 yards out.

Omar Bogle scored his third goal for Latics from the penalty spot on 17 minutes after he had been brought down by Joel Lynch.

Rangers keeper Alex Smithies produced stand out saves to deny Bogle and Jake Buxton before Washington scored the winner.

The former Peterborough United striker secured the three points for Rangers on the hour mark when he executed a smart finish from the edge of the area.

Latics remain in 22nd spot in the table behind 21st placed Bristol City who have two games in hand. QPR move up to 15th in the Championship.

Warren Joyce made one change to the starting line-up from Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Preston with Jamie Hanson replacing the injured Shaun MacDonald in midfield.

Wigan went behind after only four minutes when Matt Smith produced a neat finish. Rangers attacked down the left hand side and Washington crossed low for Smith who beat Gilks from 12 yards out despite the keeper getting a hand to the ball.

Gilks then saved well from Ryan Manning from 20 yards as Rangers looked to double their lead.

In Latics first significant attack of the game they drew level. Max Power played through Bogle and as the striker moved into the box he was brought down by Joel Lynch.

Bogle had to wait to take the penalty kick as Grant Hall received treatment but he held his nerve and sent penalty save expert Smithies the wrong way from the spot kick. Smithies has now conceded 20 and saved an incredible 19 of his previous penalty kicks.

Bogle nearly gave Latics the lead on 36 minutes when his strike from inside the box deflected off Lynch and struck Nedum Onuoha when it had seemed destined for the top right-hand corner of the net.

Smithies then made a spectacular save to deny Latics the lead. Jake Buxton met Hanson’s corner with a powerful header from eight yards but the keeper produced a superb reflex save to his right to deny the centre back a second ever goal for Latics.

The teams went into the interval level, but Latics had another great chance early in the second half. Ryan Tunnicliffe broke quickly from his own 18 yard box and ran the full length of the pitch before feeding the ball to Bogle, whose powerful effort was again denied by Smithies.

The game was now entering a frantic phase with chances at both ends but it was QPR who capitalised on the hour mark. Conor Washington was given limited space on the edge of the area but the striker turned and fired low and powerfully past Gilks.

Joyce replaced Grigg with Gabriel Obertan on 72 minutes and then gave Mikael Mandron his debut when he replaced Hanson as Latics went 4-3-3 for the last 10 minutes. But Latics were unable to penetrate and it was QPR who looked the stronger team in the dying minutes.

The result was a major setback to Latics’ survival chances but they must quickly pick themselves up and go again on Saturday knowing that a victory over Nottingham Forest will keep them in touch with the teams above them.

About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in Championship, Conor Washington, Matt Smith, Omar Bogle, QPR, Wigan Athletic and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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