Wigan brought the curtain down yesterday on a terrible season, a season devoid of goals, home wins and quality football, a season which Wigan went into as a promotion favourites and ended dropping t league one with barely a whimper
Wigan made four changes to the starting line up, McKay starting for the first time partnering the also recalled Fortune in attack. The other changes were a first start of the season for Nicholls in goal and Cowie in midfield. Those making way were Carson, Kvist, Pennant and McClean.
Wigan started the brighter with once again Perch slotting into the centre of a back three with Boyce and Bong operating as wing backs and a passing game not seen since the heady days of Roberto Martinez’s tenure. As was so often the case under Martinez however most of the passing was in and around the Wigan half and when the ball invariably found its way back to Nichols, his distribution was poor, often ending up out for a throw in.
Having said that Latics did have a couple of early chances, the first was when from a sharp angle, Fortune turned sharply and fired a shot which Button did well to save and then Fortune along with the large noisy Laticsfollowing thought they had taken the lead but the effort was ruled out by the assistant to the relief of the home side.
When you are down your luck is often out goes the saying and so it proved once again when the home side took the lead from a Pritchard free kick. The shot took a wicked deflection off a head in the wall, looping into the far corner with Nichols left stranded and Brentford had a lead that on the balance of play they didn’t deserve.
This goal gave Brentford a boost and their play upped a notch with Jota out wide on the right stretching the Wigan defence and Gray giving a thorough test to the Wigan central defenders. Gray had a great chance to make it two as an error by the Wigan defence saw him in a good position to shoot but a goal saving block by Pearce saw Wigan go into the half time break still in with a chance of getting something out of the game.
Within sixty seconds of the second half , any Wigan optimism was extinguished when the dangerous Jota wsleft in acres of space and his powerful shot gave Nichols no chance.
Within a minute Wigan were almost back in it when the industrious McKay broke through following good work by Chow but his effort was blocked by Dean and the rebound was stopped on the line by the outstretched hand of Button.
That was the end of any constructive attacking play from Wigan as the news filtered through from the Brentfordcrowd that scores elsewhere were going “the Bees” way, the home side grew in confidence and even the introduction of debutants Robles and Flores for Wigan couldn’t spur the away side on to score or even shoot on target.
Brentford turned the screw, Dean hitting a hot against the bar when it seemed easier to score and then Brentford did make it three when neat interplay saw Gray in open space and he showed no nerves in coolly slotting the ball home.
It could have been four when Cowie conceded a penalty by fouling Judge but Tarkowski hit the softest of penalties enabling Nichols to make a simple save.
The full time whistle brought to an end a terrible season which left the fans with no doubts about the massive changes needed in playing personnel if the team are to push for promotion back to the Championship next season
Team Line up and Player Ratings
Nichols…….5, a couple of fine saves but poor kicking increased the pressure
Pearce……..6, worked hard.
Maguire…….6, Wigan’s best creative outlet.
Boyce……….5, gave his all.
Bong…………5, out of position all too often at the back.
Kim……………5, poor half, withdrawn
Chow…………6, worked hard, withdrawn
Cowie……….5, offered little.
McKay………..6, looked sharp but deprived of quality ball.
Fortune………5, battled manfully, withdrawn.
Pennant for Kim…..5, little impact.
Flores for Chow…..5, enthusiastic debut
Robles for Fortune…..5, worked hard
Man of Match
The large good humoured travelling away support.
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