Wigan made the trip to Hertfordshire to play promotion contenders Watford in the early autumnal sunshine seeking to improve on their poor away form in the league and cl;ose the gap on the leading contenders. Wigan manager Owen Coyle opted to make two changes from the victory over Ipswich, dropping both wide men McManaman and Beausejour and replacing them with McArthur and Gomez respectively as they looked for their first away win since the opening day thumping of Barnsley.
The game started as a high tempo game with both sides pushing forwards passing the ball with style in search of the opening goal. Wigan thought that they had opened the scoring when a good ball from Perch found McClean, his cross was palmed out by Almunia and Powell nipped in slotting the ball home but the goal was ruled offside by the assistant referee due to a borderline offside against McClean to the relief of the home supporters
Wigan suffered a blow a few minutes later when their only fit striker Fortune limped off to be replaced by McManaman with Powell pushed forward into the lone forward role Wigan continued to push forward and from a good corner taken by Watson, Rogne rose above the defence by his header flew harmlessly over the bar. Another chance from a set piece, this time a free kick saw Gomez beat the wall but Almunia was well placed to gather the ball safely.
For the home side Purdil forced Carson into a good save following good work by Deeney
The half time whistle brought to an end a highly entertaining first forty five minutes in which Wigan will have no doubt felt that they should have been ahead.
Watford increased the tempo in the second half with McGugan at the heart of the majority of their good work and a couple of shots from the midfield flew narrowly wide of the goal. Wigan’s best chance in this period fell to Powell whose shot was palmed away by Alumia who saved the secondary shot from McClean.
The game then deteriorated into a midfield chess battle with both sides seemingly reluctant to commit players forwards in case they conceded. Wigan felt aggrieved that they were not awarded a penalty for a foul by Doyley on Powell and with Wigan looking comfortable and seemingly heading for a hard earned point , Battacchio curled a wonderful shot into the net and Watford had a lead they didn’t in all honesty deserve..
Wigan huffed and puffed trying to get the equaliser but the full time whistle brought to an end the third consecutive away defeat for Wigan with no goals scored in those three defeats. This lack of firepower will provide cause for concern as the lack of goals ruined what was a good team performance.
Team Line up
Carson, Shotton, Barnett, Rogne, Perch,McClean, McArthur, Watson, Powell, Gomez, Fortune
McManaman for Fortune.
Boyce for Rogne
Man of Match……………Thomas Rogne
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