Once again the Wigan players trooped off the pitch yesterday following a home defeat, their eighth in ten home games since Mackay took the managerial reigns and whilst there were enough chances created to win three games, the lack of a recognised goal scorer upfront for the majority of the game mean that it was no surprise to the majority of the home support that the chances came to nothing.
Wigan made one change to the side which secured a vital away win at Norwich in midweek with the injured Clarke being replaced by Ojo with welcome returns on the bench for Barnett and Kvist.
Wigan started with confidence and could have had the lead within the first minute when Fortune broke through but with both McClean and Ojo unmarked on either side of him screaming for the ball , his indecision saw the move break down to the obvious frustration of McClean.
Leeds looked sharp with Morrison and Sharp pouring forwards with pace and attempting to shoot at any opportunity but with Maguire and Pearce solid in the centre most of the chances for Leeds in the first half came down the right wing where Bong found himself under sustained pressure. From one such move Sharp fired a cross into the area but Mowatt failed to put in a goal bound shot much to the relief of Carson.
For Wigan on a pitch with unpredictable bounce chances were few and far between. Kim was once again the pick of the outfield players for the Latics in the first half with a deflected Kim shot which spooned wide of the Silvestri’s goal.
Clear cut chances for either side were few and far between in the first half and as both sides trooped off at half time with the knowledge that something extra would be needed to gain the three points.
Malky Mackay made a half time substitution replacing the tiring Pennant with utility man Cowie and this switch almost bore fruit immediately when a Cowie cross was blocked by a Leeds defender but the shout for handball went unanswered.
Wigan continued to exert pressure and a shot from McClean was well saved by Silvestri. Latics’ lack of acumen in front of goal came back to haunt them as Mowatt found himself with space on the edge of the area and a superb left foot shot found the back of the Wigan net.
Wigan responded positively to this setback and twice balls were played across the six yard box by Fortune with no one able to get a foot on the ball for what would be an easy tap in with Cowie seemingly managing to tie his feet in knots when presented with the ball.
Another ball across the area, another missed opportunity as Ojo turned and shot along the goal line with once again no one there for the simple tap in.
McClean came into his own as the game wore on and would feel unlucky not to score when first a goal bound shot was blocked by team mate Kim and then when a free kick was tipped over the bar by Silvestri.
McClean then had the crowd on their feet when a shot from outside the area hit the net, sadly for Wigan on the outside as the Latics ramped up the pressure on Leeds.
Wigan threw Maguire up front , going to three at the back in a vain attempt to get something out of the game but Leeds who became more physical as the game went on held on inflicting a morale crushing defeat on the home side leaving them ensconced in the relegation zone.
Team Line up & Player ratings
Carson…….6, little to do.
Boyce……..6, solid, withdrawn.
Bong……….5, given a torrid time.
Maguire…..7, totally in control.
Pearce……6, did well against his former comrades.
Ojo………….6, flitted in and out of the game, faded badly in second half
Kim…………7, lively in the first half, quiet in the second.
Pennant…..5, quiet after a nasty knock, withdrawn.
McClean….8, Wigan’s best chance of scoring.MOM
Fortune……5, does what he does best but it isn’t coring goals, withdrawn.
Cowie for Pennant…..5, little influence.
Kvist for Boyce………..5, no impact.
McKay for Fortune….n/a
Entertainment rating 5/10, best you could expect on a poor pitch.
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