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Match Reports

Report: Wigan Athletic 3 Rovers 1

A night to forget for Rovers, who suffer back-to-back defeats in the north-west

28 November 2018

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Rovers suffered back-to-back defeats following a disappointing performance and result against Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium.

After a scrappy opening, the game sprung to life when Gary Roberts smashed home just before half time to hand the hosts the lead.

That was how it stayed going into the break before James Vaughan smashed home a penalty early into the second half.

An own goal gave Rovers hope of an unlikely comeback late on, but just moments later Callum McManaman made the game safe.

Jack Rodwell, Danny Graham, Amari'i Bell and Corry Evans, all come into the side, with Darragh Lenihan, Kasey Palmer, Derrick Williams and the suspended Elliott Bennett dropping out.

It was a scrappy start from both sides, with the only action coming in the form of yellow cards and free kicks for both side.

But midway through the half the first chance came Rovers' way as the returning Graham hooked a low ball in from Ryan Nyambe over Christian Walton's crossbar.

Wigan finally came to life just after the half hour mark and went close a trio of times in the space of a minute. Rovers were grateful for Evans being in the right place at the right time by hacking off the line before David Raya did excellently to tip a Dan Burn strike onto the bar and away.

But the ball still wasn't cleared properly, and once Lee Evans' ball was curled back in, Cedric Kipre somehow headed an inch or two past Raya's left-hand post.

However, with the next opportunity came the opening goal as Roberts cut in from the right side before unleashing a left-footed effort that clipped the post before nestling into the back of the net.

Home tails were up, and Raya had to grab the ball at the second attempt after substitute Josh Windass drove at the visiting backline before smashing goalwards.

Windass was causing a few problems for the Rovers defence and twice went close to adding to the scoreline late into the half, albeit the former Rangers man was offside on both occasions.

Mowbray made a change at the break, and a change of Williams on for Graham led to an alteration of formation, with Rovers going with a three at the back system and shifting Adam Armstrong up front.

But it was the hosts who worked the first chance of the half as Windass' cross found Vaughan, who saw Raya in his way from doubling the lead.

At the other end, Armstrong raced past Kipre but Walton was there to deny the frontman from equalising.

And just a moment later Paul Cook's side had their second of the night after Rodwell slipper and took down Windass in the box.

Up stepped Vaughan, who smashed the spot kick down the middle, with the ball kissing the crossbar before crashing into the back of Raya's net.

The Latics were looking to kill the game off and Raya again was on hand to deny Evans from adding a third to the home side's tally.

Wigan and Windass hit the bar again with just over 20 minutes remaining as his strike took a deflection, looped over Raya and onto the upright before the danger was cleared.

But with eight minutes remaining, Rovers were handed a lifeline as the ball trickled into the back of Walton's net via a Wigan man after a good delivery from substitute Craig Conway.

But those hopes were dashed just two minutes later as the menacing Windass managed to glide past Williams and feed substitute McManaman, who tapped home at the back post.

Rovers searched for another responde and Bradley Dack saw his effort deflect just past the post at the other end, but that was to be that as Mowbray's men were soundly beaten. 

Wigan Athletic: Walton, Morsy (c), Kipre, Burn, Evans, James, Naismith, Byrne, Roberts (Connolly, 79), Powell (Windass, 22), Vaughan (McManaman, 79) .

Unused substitutes: Jones, Gibson, Garner, Grigg.

Goal: Roberts, 37, Vaughan pen, 53

Booked: Vaughan, 2, Evans, 9, Morsy, 73

Rovers: Raya, Nyambe (Conway, 79), Rodwell, Mulgrew (c), Bell, Smallwood (Brereton, 62), Evans, Reed, Dack, Armstrong, Graham (Williams, 46).

Unused substitutes: Leutwiler, Rothwell, Downing, Palmer.

Goal: Own goal, 83

Booked: Graham, 15

Attendance: 10,777 (2,148 away)

Referee: Keith Stroud.

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