The weather was for once was good, that is considering it was an autumn afternoon in Wigan. Yet it would turn out to be a bad evening for the clubs fans, as we fell 2-1 to what is a very good West Brom team. Yet with our team plauying with swagger and confidence you felt that we could give them a game.
That we did, for the first half an hour. We held the ball and passed it about in total control. Lookers on would be left wondering why we weren't the team in the top five as they left chasing shadows. Yet that became completly apparent later on, as it was you could see our current lack of clinicalness in front of goal, despite our recent form.
Chances came and went for our wasteful players, and you felt that having one or two more shots from distance wouldn't have been a bad thing. Latics looked intent on walking the ball into the net, something that wasn't going to happen against this well drilled Albion side, who were looking to hit us wide on the break.
That would be their way into the game, slowly but surely as we failed to score and stamp them out of the game. The Baggies grew in confidence, and were getting on the ball more and more wanting to get their wingers into the game and whip the ball across the face of ours.
A few chances came and went for them. Our defenders looked a big shaky none of the three center backs seemed willing to go up and challenge the ball. That would lead to us conceding, Chris Brunt managing to get pass Emmerson Boyce on our right wing. Boyce having his one bad game in a thousand. Brunt's cross picked out a free James Morrison who had the simplest of tap ins to score, poor marking and none looking to win the ball.
You would hope we would bounce back. Instead we seemed to go into our shell and for the next ten minutes we couldn't get the ball out of our half at all, if we did it was a long ball forward. Albion looked to pounce and score a second to really stop any Wigan back door threat.
The stupid thing is, Wigan let them do it!
None seemed bothered to close their players down or get the ball and pass it about. We looked deflated and were punished with two minutes of the half left. Billy Jones wide on the left side of the Wigan goal, went to smash the ball across the Wigan box. His cross/shot was deflected into his own net by Gray Caldwell, who was having a below par game.
2-0 down and the Wigan players seemed to realize we were in a game, and within a minute were back in it. Arouna Kone scoring his fourth goal of the campaign after some lovely work down the left hand side by Jean Beasejour who managed to wriggle his way to the byline before smashing it back across the box for Kone to slide the ball into the goal.
The crowd lifted and so did the Wigan play. Had Kone's pass not been too powerful, Wigan could have score in the last minute of the half with a quick fire counter attack. Ben Watson and Franco Di Santo were charging forward with the Ivorian. Yet his pass was over hit toward Di Santo who had the narrowest of angles to shoot from.
Half time came and you felt we should have been level if not in front after dominating most of the half. Yet West Brom were in the lead with a ten minutes spell were they managed to convert two from the few chances they really had.
The second half you hoped and felt that Wigan would be the quicker out of the traps. That they were and we would go on to dominate much of the second half in a game you felt frustrated we didn't get more from. Yet the diffrence between the two sides was shown totaly, West Brom worked as a team to defend and attack and were able to convert their chances, Wigan simply can't.
We had the ball in and around their half yet didn't seem willing to shoot at goal. Lack of shots cost us with only a few chances coming our way. The best would come late on for Franco Di Santo who was free in the box, yet his header from three yards our hit the head of Kone and saw the ball loop over the goal.
For Albion, they were comfortable to look for their chances on the break and Lakaku missed their best chance. Breaking free on goal, but his shot was well saved by Ali Al Habsi who in reality and a quiet day at the office.
We would throw on Jordi Gomez and Marou Boselli late on, yet neither really had a touch on the ball as the game started to draw to a close, with Wigan starting to get desperate.
We could try all we want yet the result wasn't going to change, and it finished 2-1 to the away side, who are now comfortable in fifth in the table.