Wigan slumped to a rare home defeat as a much changed side fell victim to a severely deflected goal in their battle to avoid relegation from the championship.
Uwe Rosler made eight changes from the starting line up against Leeds but if the fans were hoping that the changes would show players busting a gut to try and prove a point in a bid to win a place in the manager’s Wembley selection they were disappointed as the majority of the team turned in a performance that can only eb described as embarssing.
Passes were over hit, underhit or just banged into topuch, passes were hit to wheere players were thought to be without any vision fromt eh passer, shots were hit to anywhere but the goal and Forde int eh Millwall net had a quiet evcenign only ebign called to save two shots all night.
In short it was a dogs dinner of a performance and Millwall who looked like a limited side played to the maximum of their potential, harrying each and every Wigan player and defending as if their lives depended upon it.
There was very little to shout about in the first twenty minutes for the home fans as a side looking decidedly disjointed with McEachran and Collison accompanying Maloney in centre midfield struggled to supply any sort of quality ball to the front three.
Millwall looked the more dangerous and with Martin looking especially lively and it was his cross which was headed straight at Carson by Wollford when it looked easier to score.
This should have served as a wake up call for Wigan but their play still continued to be erratic with increasing groans of concern from the home fans. These concerns were magnified shortly afterwards when an Edwards shot took a wicked deflection off the blocking boot of Barnett and looped over Carson’s head for the opening goal
Wigan increased the tempo and Collison put McClean away down the left but he couldn’t keep his shot down and the ball went over the bar into the small clutch of travelling Millwall fans cited in the North stand.
Latics best chance came when Maynard found himself in acres of space on the right but he dithered as whether to push forwards and shoot or cross to Collison who was in support. In the end a wasted ball was neither and the chance went begging.
In the dying embers of the half a Collison shot was half saved by Forde and Wigan couldn’t take advantage of the loose ball which was cleared by the away team.
Roselr decided to shake things up at the interval and it was no surprise to the home fans that he withdrew the ineffective Maynard and McEachran replacing them with the midfield dynamo that is McArthur and Fortune.
McArthur’s leadership had the desired effect as Wigan continually pushed forwards looking for the equaliser but too often the final ball was wasted and when a shot or header was dispatched it was wide of the post or over the bar. Collison went close with one shot through a crowd of players and on another occasion a blocked shot from substitute Powell deflected away from goal in contrast to the one that brought the Millwall goal.
Powell created several chances but none looked like troubling Forde and at the other end , Millwall calimes for a second goal were waved away when Carson was adjudged to have saved a shot before it went over the line, a decision which looked marginal at best.
Wigan huffed and puffed but it was evident it wasn’t going to be their night when in the last minute Fortune rose majestically and headed way over the bar , once again failing to trouble the away keeper Forde.
Wigan trooped off at the final whistle knowing that this was a golden opportunity to cement their place in the play offs and with better teams to play over the comings weeks a monumental sea change will be needed if they are to reach the promised land.
Team line up and Player ratings
Carson….6, couldn’t be faulted for the goal and a fine double save late on.
Boyce…..6, tried hard but looked jaded.
Barnett….6, unlucky deflection for the goal.
Kiernan….6.5, another composed, solid performance.
Beausejour…..6, steady but attacked less than usual.
McEachran….4, hardly involved, withdrawn.
Collison….5, ran around a lot.
Maloney….6, a welcome return on the path to full fitness.
Waghorn….5, strangely subdued against his former club.
McClean…..5, tried hard but delivered little, withdrawn.
Maynard…..looked out of sorts, withdrawn.
McArthur for McEachran….7, only on pitch for half a game and still best home player.
Fortune for Maynard….5, never looked like scoring.
Powell for McClean…..5, lacked his usual spark.
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