Wigan made the long trip to the South coast to play a Bournemouth side looking to rebound from a six one drubbing last week at Watford.
Wigan manager Owen Coyle opted to make one change from last week’s Community Shield line up with Jean Beausejour returning in place of new signing James McClean who had to be content with a place on the bench.
A scrappy start to the game saw both sides guilty of squandering possession with too many wasted long ball and from one error by McCarthy,Bournemouth danger man Grabban’s shot hit the advancing Wigan keeper Scott Carson and the danger was averted.
Wigan responded well and this time it was Allsopp in the Bournemouth goal who had to make the save this time from Wigan midfielder James McCarthy.
Wigan continued to dominate the play but all too often this was spoiled by an inability to stay onside with Beausejour being the main culprit and a continued reliance on using the long ball by-passing the Wigan midfield. Once again a defensive error put Wigan under pressure and this time it resulted in a goal for Bournemouth. James Perch sent a back pass to Carson but under hit the ball. The ball was intercepted by Grabban and he slotted the ball under Carson and Wigan for all their dominance were behind. Wigan tried to hit back but McArthur shot went wide of the goal.
Things nearly went from bad to worse early in the second half when an embarrassingly clumsy tackle by Beausejour resulted in a penalty to Bournemouth and a yellow card for the Chilean. Pittman fired the ball low and hard towards the right hand side of the goal but Carson showed his class by saving well and Wigan cleared the ball.
Wigan’s relief was short lived when McManaman who had been on the pitch for only a couple of minutes for McArthur, committed a two footed lunge rightly earning him a straight red card.
Wigan tried to come back into the game using long balls in search of Holt which proved ineffective but when they did play the ball on the ground they looked the more potent threat. From one such move,substitute McClean won a corner. Maloney took the corner and a Barnett header was cleared off the line.
Wigan were ill disciplined and both Holt and McClean tested the referee’s patience and earned yellow cards as a result.
Carson had to be alert when a quickly taken free kick nearly caught him out, the big keeper at full stretch to palm the ball away for a corner.
McCarthy had a late shot which went narrowly wide but the full time whistle served to dispel any myths that Wigan’s procession through the Championship to the Premier League was assured, leaving Owen Coyle with some thinking on the way home about whether the tactics are good enough to deliver on the Chairman’s expectations of promotion
Wigan Line Up 4-5-1
Boyce (c), Perch, Barnett, Crainey
Maloney, McArthur, Watson, McCarthy, Beausejour
McManaman for McArthur
McClean for Beausejour
Fortune for Holt
Man of the Match
Carson…some good saves, some gaffes but really had no competition it what was a poor team display.
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