Two goals, one in each half saw Sheffield Wednesday win their first game in twelve matches, a reverse that saw Wigan firmly ensconced in the relegation places of the Sky Bet Championship,leaving Wigan manager Malky Mackay searching for his first win in charge of the Latics.
Mackay made two changes to the team that drew one all against Middlesboro’ last weekend, dropping Espinoza to the bench meaning a first team recall after seven months out for Ben Watson and James McClean replacing the unwell talisman Shaun Maloney.
Neither team entered the game on any run of form but the home side seemed to take the bull by the horns with some direct play led by Samedo and Nuhiu with Stevie May an ever willing frontman
As in recent weeks, Wigan dominated the possession with Forshaw , McCann and Watson trying to feed the ball through to McManaman and McClean in an effort to supply some quality to the lone frontman Fortune, but all too often the striker found himself surrounded by defenders and with no one in close support the ball often went astray.
Latics best effort in the early stages came from top scorer McManaman whose powerful shot was well saved by Westwood and for the home side a diving May header brought the best out of Carson in the Wigan goal.
Wednesday them beat Carson, only to see Samedo’s powerful shot rebound off the post and the loose ball fell to Maguire but his shot was saved by Carson.
Wigan looked sharp on the counter attack and one their first corner which resulted in a goal for McCann. McClean’s cross eluded the first line of defence and the big Irishman powered home an unstoppable header and Wigan were in front.
Within a minute Wednesday were well, poor concentration and defending allowed Nihiu to find May unmarked in the box and his shot found the net past the despairing dive of Carson Wigan’s defence was breached a few minutes later and they were indebted to Carson who saved from Drenthe.
At the other end, Fortune was thwarted twice, once by the keeper Westwood and once by a fine block from Wednesday’s skipper Loovens as Wigan finished the half the stronger of the two sides.
Wigan made a half time substitution, replacing the struggling Ramis with Perch who slotted in at right back with Boyce moving into the centre half position. Any hopes that this would shore up a porous defence proved unfounded however as Wednesday continued to look dangerous going forwards.
Wigan had the best chance of the early exchanges however with McGuigan clearing a header from a penalty area scramble off the line and this missed chance came back to haunt the Latics when an unmarked Stevie May headed the ball goalwards following good work by Maguire and Helan. The ball hit both posts and was adjudged by the assistant referee to have crossed the line before being cleared by Taylor.
Wigan push forwards in search of an equaliser with McClean having the best chance to score but being thwarted by Palmer.
The full time whistle brought an end to Wigan’s endeavours to gain at least a point and the team entered December knowing that points need to be garnered sooner rather than later if they are to retain their Championship status.
Team Line up
Carson, Boyce, Ramis ( Perch ), Barnett, Taylor, McManaman, Watson, Forshaw( Espinoza), McCann, McClean, Fortune.
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