It was a case of job done at the DW stadium yesterday in the late summer sunshine as a Wigan Athletic side seeking its first win of the season overcame early nerves to seal what in the end was a comfortable win against a team which showed that it had been put together over the last two weeks, creating very little.
Wigan manager Uwe Rosler made one change from the narrow defeat at Cardiff, recalling fit again Riera to the starting lineup in place of Fortune.
Whilst the early play might have been tentative the tackling wasn’t and two blatant blocks, one for McArthur then reciprocated by the fiesty Perkins earned both players a yellow card. Both sides struggled to exert any control over their opponents with Wigan dominating the early exchanges without troubling Lewis in the Blackpool goal.
Not for the first time this season, Wigan’s main creative outlet was Callum McManaman. With Huws settling into his role of creative midfielder, McManaman used the supply route from the young Welshman to give the Blackpool defence a torrid time but all too often his crosses fizzed across the area without Riera or Cowie able to get the crucial touch
Blackpool’s chances were few and far between although Wigan’s defence showed once again its susceptibility to set piece when the defence failed to challenge effectively from a free kick leaving a Blackpool attacker unmarked. Fortunately for Wigan his header went wide of the far post when realy it should have been on target.
Wigan eventually saw reward for their almost total dominance when a loose ball fell to Riera on the edge of the penalty area and his low powerful shot found the bottom left hand corner of Lewis’ goal.
Wigan continued to press but a gallant Blackpool side managed to keep the score down to one, sometimes with good play throwing themselves in the way of goal bound shots and sometimes by luck with goalbound shots taking deflections
Wigan trooped off at half time with the applause of the crowd ringing in their ears with the satisfaction of a job half dome, knowing that they would have to keep up the tempo to secure the three points.
And so it was , well for the first twenty minutes of the second half anyway as Wigan with Huws and McArthur dominating play continued to control the midfield. However chances on goal were once again worryingly few and far between and as Wigan tired as the game wore on, Blackpool began to believe that they might snatch an undeserved draw. As against Reading Wigan began to defend deeper and deeper inviting the opposition onto them and the withdrawal of Riera and McManaman for Fortune and Waghorn seemed to exacerbate this and Blackpool were gifted a wonderful opportunity to equalise when substitute Ranger saw his effort in front of an open net skew wide when it was easier to score following good work by the powerful Miller. Wigan seemed content to try and catch Blackpool on the break with Fortne running the angles but a lack of support saw Lewis largely untroubled save for a header that went narrowly over the bar from Kiernan
Wigan managed to hang on and whilst this was not the best performance of Rosler tenure it was certainly a crucial one, restoring some of the confidence of both the players and the crowd and giving the Wigan manager something to build on before the arrival of Birmingham City next weekend Line up and Player ratings
Carson…..6, could have sat in the East stand with a pie, so little did he have to do.
Boyce…….6, worked hard
Kiernan…..6, growing in stature
Ramis…….6, a competent performance
Taylor……..6, pushed forward at every opportunity
Perch……..7, the best of the back five.
Huws……..7.5, created most of Wigan’s attacking play, withdrawn
McArthur….7.5, his usual 1000% committed self.
Cowie………6,didnt shirk his responsibilities
Riera……..7, some nice touches, took his goal well. withdrawn.
McManaman…..8, Wigan’s only constant threat and MOM, withdrawn
Fortune….6, little chance to influence proceedings
Waghorn…..6, ditto Fortune
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