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Report: Wigan Athletic 2-0 Rovers

Second half strikes from Lee Evans and Michael Jacobs earn all three points for t

27 June 2020

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A pair of substitutes did the damage as two late goals earned Wigan Athletic a narrow victory in the rain at the DW Stadium.

Lee Evans emerged off the bench to crash home via the underside of the bar with nine minutes remaining, before a breakaway run and finish from Michael Jacobs earned all three points for Paul Cook's hosts.

It was an even game up to the final 10 minutes, with Rovers' best opportunities coming via Stewart Downing and Dominic Samuel.

Downing's first half free kick was parried away by David Marshall, before Samuel forced the Scotland international to tip over his header as Rovers searched for what would have been an equaliser.

But it wasn't to be as Rovers failed to back up last weekend's win over Bristol City with the three points in the Lancashire derby.

Tony Mowbray made two alterations to his starting XI, with Corry Evans missing out due to a foot injury, whilst Joe Rankin-Costello picked up a slight hamstring knock late on last weekend.

The hosts started the brightest on home turf, with Kieffer Moore curling wide before giant defender Cedric Kipre nodded Kieran Dowell's inswinging corner just past Christian Walton's right-hand post inside the opening 10 minutes.

At the other end, the returning Rothwell saw his free kick fly just past David Marshall's right-hand post as the opening goal in the contest remained elusive.

With half time looming, Downing almost found a route to breaking a Wigan defence that was boasting five consecutive clean sheets, but the experienced campaigner's free kick was beaten away by Marshall.

It was a half where chances were few and far between, with the 0-0 scoreline a fair one going into the break.

Rovers came out of the traps the quickest at the beginning of the second half, with Sam Gallagher rising above Antonee Robinson at the back post but being unable to test Marshall with his back post header.

Home skipper Sam Morsy let fly soon after, but couldn't beat former team-mate Christian Walton, before Anthony Pilkington curled over the upright a moment later.

A triple change saw fresh legs enter the action just after the hour, and two of those alterations combined to nearly break the deadlock a minute or two later.

Adam Armstrong turned and raced away from Nathan Byrne, but his low cross agonisingly missed the onrushing Dominic Samuel in the box.

However, with it looking like the game would end 0-0, the Latics took the lead with only nine minutes remaining.

Robinson ventured forward from left back, his cross wasn't dealt with by Walton, and the ball dropped kindly for Evans who slammed into the net via the underside of the crossbar.

Rovers went in search of a quick response, but Samuel's header was tipped behind by Marshall after another dangerous ball in from Elliott Bennett.

But with time running out Wigan grabbed a second to wrap up the three points through Jacobs' counter attack; the winger cutting in from the left and sending a shot low and hard beyond Walton.

Rovers have a chance to get back to winning ways in a few days, with a trip to Barnsley on the agenda for Tuesday evening, 6pm kick-off at Oakwell.

Wigan Athletic: Marshall, Morsy (c), Kipre, Fox, Williams, Pilkington (Evans, 56), Lowe, Dowell (Jacobs, 73), Moore (Garner, 90), Byrne, Robinson.

Unused substitutes: Jones, Balogun, Naismith, Pearce, Mlakar, Geldhardt.

Goals: Evans, 81, Jacobs, 90+4.

Booked: Kipre, 90.

Rovers: Walton, Nyambe, Lenihan, Adarabioyo, Bennett (c), Travis (Johnson, 64), Downing, Rothwell (Davenport, 83), Gallagher (Samuel, 64), Holtby (Armstrong, 64), Brereton (Graham, 79).

Unused substitutes: Leutwiler, Smallwood, Mulgrew, Carter.


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