Wigan Athletic vs. Barnsley
Date: Tuesday 18th January 2014
Venue: The DW Stadium
Referee: Nigel Miller
Wigan Athletic’s dreams of promotion to the Premier League are looking all the more likely after they beat a Barnsley side that are fighting for their lives at the bottom of the Championship.
The opening stages of the game were fairly even with both sides having decent chances to score. However, after just fifteen minutes, Ben Watson was involved in a 50/50 challenge that has unfortunately ended his season and it is possible that he will never pull on a Latics shirt again, as his contract is up in the summer. The F.A. cup final hero has suffered a double leg break.
After this set-back, Wigan seemed hungrier than ever and caused Barnsley a few problems. Chris McCann had a free shot at goal after some good play but only managed to put the ball over the bar. Then, Jean Beausejour squandered a chance to put his team ahead as he found himself one-on-one with the Barnsley ‘keeper, Luke Steele, and put the ball just wide of the post.
It wasn’t long before Wigan scored, however. Beausejour, again, worked hard to keep the ball in the final third, drove into the box and picked out a pass to the unmarked Nicky Maynard in the six yard box. Maynard merely had to tap the ball into the net to put the Latics ahead.
And, within ten minutes, it was 2-0 to the home side as Martin Waghorn scored his first goal for Wigan. McClean was given far too much room on the left side of the pitch and was able to place a cross onto Waghorn’s head. Waghorn might not score an easier goal in his career as he was three yards from the goal and unmarked.
The second half was a completely different story to the first, with Barnsley pressing Wigan and becoming the dominant side in the game. Wigan took their foot of the gas and thought that they could coast through the rest of the game.
Barnsley midfielder, Martin Woods, saw a shot go over the bar as he was left unmarked at the far post before Dale Jennings put a header just wide. The battle was being won in the midfield by Barnsley and they worked extremely hard to stop Wigan from playing their game of football. Unfortunately for them, they wasted various chances and, ultimately, were not strong enough for the organisation and strength that this Wigan Athletic side has.
Wigan will be hoping to string together a few more wins to force themselves into the play-off positions. Two away games in the league against Brighton and Nottingham Forest respectively will be followed by a F.A. cup quarter final tie at Manchester City.