Alcaraz off – but Wigan comfortably progress to round three

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Wigan made the trip to the East Midlands to take on former European Champions Nottingham Forest and Martinez showed the strength in depth now within the Wigan squad making seven changes from the side which started against Southampton with only AL Habsi, Figueroa,Ramis and Alcaraz starting again with the latter being handed the captian’s armband.

First half chance fell to the home side when a sharp cross from previous Wigan tormentor Andy Reid found the head of Gillet but the header went comfortably wide.

Wigan tried to exert some pressure on the Forest defence who had only been assembled this summer and a mistake in the home defence saw the ball fall to Gomez who shot narrowly wide.

Forest broke immediately and Cox should have done better when he found himself one on one with Al Habsi but the Irish striker failed to control the ball to the relief of the exposed Wigan defence. The next chance fell to the home side when a through ball left Jones stranded and Reid fired a shot just wide of the post.

Neat interplay from Wigan saw Boselli in space and his clever ball inside which if successful would have put Crusat through on goal was just intercepted by the home defence.

Wigan took the lead on the twenty fifth minute when a good run and cross from right wing back Stam saw Boseill lose his marker and was allowed to head unopposed past Lee Camp for the opening goal.

Wigan took further control when an early contender for goal of the season from Maynor Figueroa with a shot from outside the area went like a bullet into the top corner with Camp helpless.

Another minute, another chance this time Gomez narrowly heading over as Wigan continued to grow in  confidence and Wigan had a good show for a penalty with Boselli being clumsily bundled over in the penalty area.

If Figueroa’s goal was special, Gomez’s to put Wigan three nil up wasn’t much behind it with an unstoppable shot from the edge of the penalty area on his weaker right foot, Camp again left to pick the ball out of the net.

Anything you can do ,w e can do better seemed to be the motto of the night when early in the first half a slip by Ramis let Cox in and a superb shot left Al Habsi with no chance. This sparked a spell of Forest possession and Wigan lapsed into some sloppy play gifting the ball to the home side with Watson the main culprit.

The game sparked into controversy when Alcaraz who had justifiably booked for a clumsy tackle was given a second yellow when it appeared Moussa had actually caught Alcaraz not the other way round. The referee had other ideas and Wigan were suddenly down to ten men as Forest ramped up the pressure , Al Habsi being forced into a smart save.

Wigan moved Watson into the back three with Myiachi and Fyvie joining McManaman on the pitch replacing Crusat, Boselli and Gomez respectively.

For the last ten minutes Wigan stood firm, showing very little attacking acumen, merely content to soak up the Forest pressure allowing Forest to move the ball around the attacking midfield zone, committing to the tackle when required, that is until the last minute that is when Myaichi put McManman through who rounded two defenders and finished superbly to make it four one.

Full time came with a sense of job well done with many of the fringe players showing that they will be pressing for inclusion in the first team, the only sour note the injury/dismissal of Antolin Alcaraz.

Wigan Team

Al Habsi, Ramis, Alcaraz, Figueroa, Stam, Beausejour, Crusat, Watson, Jones, Gomez, Boselli.

Subs Used;

McManaman for Gomez, Myaichi for Crusat, Fyvie for Boselli

Man of the Match…Maynor Figueroa…sheer class

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