Goals from Jean Beausejour and Martyn Waghorn’s saw Latics’ unbeaten run go to ten games in league and cup competitions as a talented and spirited Watford side were defeated by 2 goals to 1 at a very wet and windy DW Stadium yesterday to consolidate their place in the play offs.
On Tuesday the team looked jaded in the last quarter and maybe with this in mind, Rosler opted to make several changes to the starting line up with Kiernan making up part of a trio of centre backs and a return to the front three triumvirate of Fortune supported by McClean and Waghorn. There was a first selection for new loan signing Collison on the bench as Rosler looked to ensure he had the quality in centre midfield following serious injuries to Watson and McCann.
The game started off at a frenetic pace with both sides looking to attack with gusto. For Wigan McClean and Beausejour looked to use the space afforded to them on the wings to fir balls into the centre for Waghorn and Fortune where as the majority of Watford’s play came down their left with Scottish international Anya giving Boyce a test of his abilities.
Wigan’s first chance fell to Beausejour when a beautiful ball from Gomez saw the Chilean ghost past his defender and his powerful shot had to be well saved by Almunia to keep the score goalless.
Wigan continued to press and from a corner a few minutes later man of the match Ramis managed to shake off the defender who was attempting to hold him down and the big Spaniard rose majestically above the away defence but his powerful header rebounded off the post and was scrambled free.
McClean continued to look dangerous with his direct pacey running and came close to scoring , sadly the net bulging was the side net from the outside
Wigan didn’t have it all their own way and a shot from dangerman Anya had Wigan’s hearts in mouths as his shot went narrowly wide after eluding the attentions of Boyce.
Watford continued to attack on the break but the three centre halves looked comfortable when defending but too casual play saw the away side take the lead, when former Wigan target MuGuigan fired a shot past the despairign dive of Al Habsi and Watford had the elad.
Wigan are nothing if not tenacious and quickly leveled the scores when Beasejour broke through on the left, his powerful shot in a “deja vu” reply of the previous one was parried by Almunia , however this time the ball looped up to Beausejour who headed the ball into the net for the equaliser.
The second half started in a similar vein, sustained Wigan pressure with quick counter attacks from Watford
It was Wigan who looked the most likely to score however and so it proved when a powerful shot was fired towards goal by mCArthur, the ball was blocked by Waghorn at the edge of the penalty area who quickly swivelled and fired the ball through a crowded area intot he goal for a deserved lead.
Wigan then brought Waghorn off , giving Collison his debut for Wigan and the big Welsh international immediately made an impression with solid tackling and powerful running
Wigan continued to push forwards and Gomez who was given far too much time, let loose with a fizzer of a shot which narrowly went over the goal, closely followed by chances for Beausejour and Powells Wigan sought the third goal to try and make the game safe.
Anya reminded Wigan that Watford were a threat , when through one on one with Al Habsi he somehow managed to scoop his attempt wide falling in the challenge although to his credit he made no attempt to claim a penalty
Fortune continued to work hard, often drifting out onto the right hand side but not for the first time this season he choose the wrong option, firing wide with Powell unmarked in the area. There was still time for a powerful shot from midfield dynamo McArthur but his long range shot failed to trouble Almunia in the Watford goal
A collective groan echoed around the ground when the fourth official signaled five minutes of time added on but unlike Tuesday, Wigan managed to see out the extra period for yet another hard fought three points.
Team line up and Player Ratings
Al Habsi……..7, played well, couldn’t be faulted for the goal.
Ramis………..9, immense at the back, unlucky not to score , MOM
Kiernan………7, solid sensible and stable, withdrawn
Boyce………..6, given a testing time by Anya.
Beausejour….8, excellent attacking performance.
McArthur……..8, unsung hero of the team.
Gomez……….8, shining at this level with his silky skills.
Waghorn……6.5, took his goal well, drifted in and out of the game, withdrawn.
Fortune……..6, tremendous workrate but too often took the wrong option.
McClean……7, direct running a source of trouble for the Watford all afternoon, withdrawn
Collison for Waghorn…….7, a promising debut
Powell for McClean…….6.5, his creativity is a potent positive for Wigan.
Rogne for Kiernan……….6, looked off the pace
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