Goals in the second half from Chris Martin and Darren Bent prolonged Wigan’s winless home run, a defeat which was the catalyst for the club’s decision to dismiss Malky Mackay with the club perilously close to a second relegation in three seasons.
Wigan made two changes to the starting line up from the side which lost a Middlesbrough on Friday, with Kvist and Fortune starting in place of Pennant and Murphy.
The first half was a moribund affair with both sides trying to master the uneven pitch and as a result chances were few and far between. As it descended into a midfield scrap the Wigan triumvirate of Perch, Kim and man of the match Kvist had the ascendancy over their promotion chasing opponents. This gave Wigan the lion’s share of possession and positional play which resulted in a slew of corners but they were unable to create any clear cut chances
Not for the first time this season Wigan’s most potent attacker was winger James McClean who saw a powerful header superbly saved by Grant who tipped his close range header over the bar.
Derby tried to hit Wigan on the counter attack with Ince and Russell looking to feed former England international Darren Bent but the Wigan defence superbly led by Jason Pearce held firm restricting any chances on Al Habsi’s goal.
The first half appeared to be meandering to a dull conclusion when Wigan captain James Perch had to show superb reactions to clear a goal bound shot from a corner off the line.
The half time whistle saw Wigan troop off to applause for a committed first half performance, high on effort and determination.
Half time saw the introduction of Derby’s top scorer Chris Martin for Jamie Ward and his presence on the field saw an immediate improvement in the Derby performance with Martin linking up with Bent and Ince which saw Wigan being forced back into their own half.
Within ten minutes Derby had the lead when Wigan only partially cleared a Derby attack and the ball fell near the edge of the area to Martin who lashed a powerful shot past Al Habsi into the bottom corner of the net to the delight of the very noisy large away following.
Derby hadn‘t won in seven games but this goal improved their confidence and they poured forwards looking for a second goal with both Ince and Bent going close
Wigan were not out of the game though and McClean and Kim both had good efforts as the away defence scrambled to clear their lines.
Whilst there was little to choose between the teams in defence and midfield the away sides’ forwards were a class apart from their Wigan counterparts and they added to their sides lead with Darren Bent who pounced on a loose ball within the six yard area to hit it firmly into the back of the goal.
Wigan went for broke but despite a few penalty area scrambles they were unable to make the possession tell and the final whistle was followed shortly afterwards by a club statement informing te media and fans that Mackay had been sacked after a home tenure in which he oversaw ten defeats and three draws in thirteen games.
Team Line up and Player ratings
Al Habsi……6, not at fault for either goal, little involvement otherwise
Boyce………5, tired in second half, withdrawn.
Pearce…….7.5, excellent defending
Maguire…..7, another fine game
Bong………6, worked hard.
Kim………..7, main creative fulcrum.
Perch……..6, battled hard.
Kvist………8, MOM, at the heart of everything in defence and attack.
Fortune….7, worked hard, withdrawn.
Clarke…….5, little impact, withdrawn
McCann for Boyce…….5, little impact.
Murphy for Fortune……..5, didn’t impose himself on the game.
Waghorn……5, lots of effort but no end product.
Entertainment rating…..4/10 a poor game
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