Solid defence provides springboard for success – Wigan Athletic 1 Rotherham United 0

James Vaughan

James Vaughan scored his first goal of the season

Wigan Athletic moved up to 9th in the Championship table after a hard-fought 1-0 victory against Rotherham United at the DW Stadium.

Latics were the better team in the first half creating several very good goal scoring opportunities but they were unable to capitalise on their dominance.

In a more even second period both teams created chances but it was Latics who came out on top despite some late Millers pressure.

Latics made the breakthrough on 73 minutes when substitute Callum McManaman cut inside and his low drive could only be parried by keeper Marek Rodak and fellow substitute James Vaughan followed up to score.

Both teams defended well throughout, but Latics central defensive pairing of Chey Dunkley and Cedric Cipre were outstanding and helped the hosts to keep a clean sheet despite the Millers late aerial bombardment.

Paul Cook made two changes to the team defeated 1-0 at QPR with Reece James and Callum Connolly starting in place of the injured Gavin Massey and the rested Nathan Byrne.

Latics started strongly with Dunkley testing Rodak with a header from a corner and a Josh Windass free-kick flashed just wide of the keeper’s right hand post.

Nick Powell appeared to be pushed in the area when attempting to reach a cross from Reece James but referee Scott Duncan waved away Powell’s appeal.

Windass then deflected Powell’s shot from distance narrowly wide of the post as Latics finished the half strongly.

Grigg nearly got on the end of a loose ball in the area but Rodak was on hand to deny him the opportunity.

The Millers looked dangerous on the counter attack and Ryan Manning tested Christian Walton with a 25-yard effort just before the interval.

The second half was a much more even affair but Latics still had the lion’s share of possession and chances.

Grigg fired narrowly wide of Rodak’s left hand post from 20-yards as Latics searched for the breakthrough.

Cook made a double change on the hour mark by introducing McManaman and Vaughan for Powell and Grigg.

McManaman was soon in the action forcing a close range save from Rodak after he had spilled Callum Connolly’s initial strike from the edge of the area.

The FA Cup winner McManaman’s next intervention gave Latics the advantage. The winger cut inside and forced a low save from Rodak but the keeper could only parry the ball into the path of Vaughan who poked the ball over the line.

The Millers had introduced the physically powerful Kyle Vassell on the hour mark and later striker Jamie Proctor as they went in search of the equaliser, but Latics back four of James, Dunkley, Cipre and Antonee Robinson held firm.

Dunkley and Cipre in particular were superb, and deserve all the plaudits as they had their best games in a Latics shirt since coming together as a partnership at the beginning of the season.

Keeper Walton was called upon late on to deny Williams from the edge of the box but Latics had just about deserved all three points.

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About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in Cedric Kipre, Championship, Chey Dunkley, James Vaughan, Rotherham United, Wigan Athletic and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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