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Match Report


Posted Sat 06 Nov 10 at 17:13 PM

Report: Rovers 2 Wigan Athletic 1

Rovers picked up a welcome three points with a 2-1 win over Wigan Athletic.

After a goalless and instantly forgettable first half the game came to life in the second, Morten Gamst Pedersen lashing home a superb free-kick from the touchline just before the hour mark.

Rovers soon netted a second when the impressive Brett Emerton picked out Jason Roberts who fired home against his former club.

The Latics had caused many problems for Rovers throughout and deservedly got a goal back, Charles N'Zogbia finding the back of the net with a 25 yard free-kick that crept in off the post.

Wigan pressed for a late leveller, but David Dunn should have added a third in injury time but skewed his shot wide.

Thankfully unlike last week there was to be no late sting in the tail, Rovers recording a timely victory to move them out of the bottom three.

Sam Allardyce was able to name an unchanged starting eleven after Gael Givet, Benjani and El-Hadji Diouf all recovered from knocks.

But in contrast to last week's match against Chelsea, this one was slow to get going, both sides feeling each other out in the opening exchanges.

Wigan were seeing plenty of the ball but it was the home side with the first shot at goal, Brett Emerton firing over from the edge of the box.

That sparked a spell of pressure from Rovers, Mame Biram Diouf headed over after a Morten Gamst Pedersen free-kick caused problems, then the Senegal striker was played through by Pedersen but Wigan 'keeper Ali Al Habsi was out quickly to smother.

At the other end Chris Samba defended well to thwart an attack from Charles N'Zogbia, whilst Paul Robinson had to be alert to push away a Hugo Rodallega effort from 20 yards.

Rovers were dealt a blow just past the half hour mark after Benjani limped off to be replaced by former Wigan striker Jason Roberts.

The visitors ended the first half the stronger of the two sides. The lively N'Zogbia through he had given the Latics the lead six minutes before the break after bustling his way through the area, but referee Kevin Friend saw the Frenchman push Morten Gamst Pedersen over in his pursuit of the ball.

As the half drew to a close Rovers were then thankful to Ryan Nelsen, the Kiwi defender making an important block to deny Rodallega.

After ending the first half on the up, Wigan started the second in similar fashion, defender Steve Gohouri heading over an early corner when well placed.

Rovers slowly came into the game and should have taken the lead on 50 minutes but from Brett Emerton's superb cross from the right, Morten Gamst Pedersen saw his header saved by Al Habsi in the Wigan goal.

MIdfielder Mohammed Diame went close for the visitors when following a strong run into the area he shot goalwards but Paul Robinson saved.

Diame was then fortunate to still be on the pitch. Having been booked in the first half, the Frenchman then took down Phil Jones with a high and late challenge. The referee only choosing to give him a talking to rather than a second yellow card.

The deadlock was broken in spectacular fashion just before the hour mark. Brett Emerton had been fouled on the right touchline by Alcaraz. The penalty area was packed as Morten Gamst Pedersen powerfully delivered his ball so accurate that it flew over Al Habsi and into the far corner of the net.

A great way to score your first goal of the season.

Wigan's chief threat was from Charles N'Zogbia and he very nearly drew them level on 66 minutes. The midfielder lashing the ball low across the area, it only needed a touch.

But a quick break from Rovers a minute later saw them double their lead. Brett Emerton attacked with pace down the right flank and sent over the perfect ball for Jason Roberts to fire home against his former club.

Rovers couldn't settle however as Wigan pulled a goal back with fifteen minutes remaining.

It came from a dubious free-kick awarded to the visitors after Jones was adjudged to have brought down Gomez but that didn't worry N'Zogbia who smashed the ball past the wall and in off the foot of the post.

Nervy moments followed as Wigan looked for a way to even up proceedings but as four added minutes were shown Rovers should have wrapped it up with a third, David Dunn doing so well to set fellow substitute Pascal Chimbonda away, he charged into the area and returned the ball to Dunn but he woefully fired wide.

The miss didn't matter as the final whistle soon blew as Rovers registered their second home win of the season.

ROVERS: Robinson, Salgado, Samba (c), Nelsen, Givet, Emerton, Jones, Pedersen, MB Diouf (sub Dunn 46 mins), Benjani (sub Roberts 32 mins), EH Diouf (sub Chimbonda 86 mins).

Subs not used: Bunn (GK), Kalinic, Hoilett, Goulon.

WIGAN ATHLETIC: Al Habsi, Gohouri, Alcaraz, G. Caldwell (c), Thomas, N'Zogbia, Gomez, Rodallega, Diame (sub Di Santo 82 mins), Stam (sub Boselli 69 mins), Figueroa.

Subs not used: Kirkland (GK), Watson, Moses, S. Caldwell, Cleverley.

Booked: Diame, Gohouri (Wigan).

Attendance: 24,413

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