Wigan Athletic Vs Blackburn Rovers
Date: Sunday 6th October 2013
Referee: Stuart Atwell
Woeful Wigan beat Blackburn as Owen Coyle’s super subs inspire the Latics to a 2-1 win over their Lancashire rivals.
There was an air of premier league about this fixture prior to kick-off but the actual game in fact could not have been more different from a game played in the promised land. Wigan Athletic were terrible for large parts of the game and showed signs of a European hangover whilst Blackburn started well but could not produce any clear cut chances after their early goal.
Blackburn, looking for their third straight win in the Championship, took only eight minutes to break through a defence that held out for sixty minutes against N.K. Maribor on Thursday night. A long Tom Cairney free-kick was not collected by Scott Carson (it could be argued that he was obstructed) and the ball landed at the feet of Tommy Spurr, who was not marked inside the Wigan area, who scored, with a slight deflection, to put Rovers ahead.
Although the Latics hinted at their attacking prowess no absolute chances were created and a combination of sloppy play and a lack of urgency resulted in Blackburn being on top for the entirety of the first half.
Blackburn did, however, have Grant Hanley, skipper for the day, sent off after just thirty one minutes. Hanley elbowed young Manchester United loanee, Nick Powell, in the face after playing a pass which prompted an instant red card from Atwell, the referee.
This dismissal did not change much in terms of how the two teams went about playing the game and James Perch still had to make a crucial block towards the end of the first half to keep the score at 1-0.
In the second half, Blackburn started as they had finished in the first half, by attacking Wigan and playing as though they had eleven men on the field. And Rovers were denied a penalty early on as Ben Watson handled inside the box.
Cue Grant Holt, returning after an injury that had kept him out for seven games, who had a hand in Wigan’s equaliser within twelve minutes of coming on. A good Jordi Gomez corner (quite rarely seen) was headed goal-wards by Holt but it would be the Blackburn goal-scorer, Spurr, who would have the crucial last touch.
Thus began the Latics’ fight-back and in the 92nd minute of a 97 minute game Wigan legend, Emmerson Boyce headed home the winner from a Watson free-kick.
The win puts Wigan in 12th place in the Championship with two games in hand and, considering they played so badly for large chunks of the game, they should take great heart heading into the international break.