Wigan continued their march up the Sky Bet Championship with a hard fought win against fellow challengers Brighton despite having to survive a nervy last twenty minutes.
This was very much a test of Wigan’s credentials to be considered a contender with Brighton and Wigan both having the same numbers of points and an identical goal difference
Rosler made two changes following the routine win over strugglers Barnsley; the first was enforced with Josh McEachran replacing the injured Ben Watson in midfield and Ramis replacing Perch in the backline
As befits two equal teams the game was hard fought and for long spells of the game Wigan were forced to endure sustained pressure from an attack minded Albion and Wigan keeper Al Habsi had to be at his best to deny amongst others Ulloa and Lopez
Wigan were forced into counter attack mode but this they did to great effect mid way through the first half when McArthur gathered up a loose ball in midfield, continued forwards and with the defence backing off him, the Scotsman came inside and fired a shot low into the corner and Wigan had the lead.
Brighton continued to exert the pressure and a Stephen’s effort came back off the woodwork with Al Habsi well beaten and the Wigan defence continued to perform well under concerted pressure.
Half time came with Wigan trooping off with the knowledge that the job was only half done and that the home side would only increase the pressure after the break looking for the equaliser.
So it turned out to be although it was Wigan who increased their lead when McCann rose late at the far post to head home a well delivered Waghorn corner and against the run of play Wigan had doubled their lead
Brighton then delivered what seemed to be uninterrupted pressure, increasing in frequency and intensity as the game wore on with Al Habsi and his back five , with the introduction of Perch at half time forced to perform heroics to keep the home side scoreless.
Their efforts were frustrated however when Ulloa ‘s powerful shot burst through a crowded penalty area and into the back of the net.
This served as the catalyst for an excellent rearguard action as the Wigan defence superbly marshaled by Boyce threw themselves at everything the Albion could conjure up and on the occasions that they were beaten Al Habsi was there to save from Ulloa, Obika and Buckley.
The full time whistle from Mr Boyeson brought cheers of relief from the travelling Wigan faithful and whereas Brighton will no doubt point to the stat that compares the number of shots from each side, it is the number of goals that matter and Wigan’s keeper and defence deserve great credit for a superb team effort.
Team Line Up
Al Habsi, Boyce (c), Ramis, Barnett, Beausejour, McArthur, McEachran( Gomez), McCann(Perch ), Waghorn(Espinoza), Maynard, McClean
Man of the Match
Chris McCann…. an immense performance from the Irishman
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