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Match Report: West Bromwich Albion 2-3 Wigan Athletic

A win at the weekend was a must, we couldn't give in to a draw, and most certainly couldn't sit back and take a defeat. To the credit to our players, they stood up and were counted in a game which could swing our survival chances back into our favor.

Clive Mason

With Maynor Figueroa out for the rest of the season Roberto Martinez had a decision to make, and maybe a risk to take on the fitness of captain Gary Caldwell. The Scotland international was not given the chance to take to the field, instead Ben Watson and Ronnie Stamm were brought in.

These changes seemed to have unsettled a Wigan side which last week had been at their arrogant best. Instead we were the floundering bottom three team who couldn't string more than two passes together, and giving the chances for West Bromwich Albion to get on our goal and open us up.

Yet with some resolute defending for Emmerson Boyce and Paul Scharner, Wigan were able to hold out on the early pressure from West Brom. They tested Joel a couple of times, once from a free-kick and once from a close range effort, but both times our Spanish keeper was equal to them.

With 25 minutes on the clock, Wigan managed to get their first shot on target. Arouna Kone picking the ball up inside the West Brom half look goal-ward and with nothing on ahead of him, the striker fizzed the ball toward Ben Foster's goal. Foster was equal to the striker and pushed it out for a corner.

It was West Brom who took first blood, deservedly so, as they had come out of the traps quicker than Wigan. Paul Scharner losing the ball on the half way line, it came to Marcus Rosenberg inside the 18-yard box; Ben Watson unable to track back. Rosenberg played the ball across the box finding Shane Long for the tap in.

Wigan deflated? No the players picked themselves up and carried on with their game. Shaun Maloney coming close with a dipping and diving free-kick for, Latics as we started to see more of the ball and pass it around. It was the slick passing move that saw us equalize with five minuets of the half left.

Maloney and Kone between them working the ball wide to Jean Beasuejour. The winger then whipped in a delightful curving cross to the back post; which found Arouna Kone. The striker, who hasn't scored in four games, ended his barren spell with a delightful header which beat Ben Foster.

So at half time it was 1-1. Luckily for Wigan as West Brom had the better chances so far and couldn't have been out of sight.

The Baggie would restore their lead inside the opening stages of the second half. Jean Beausejour giving away a free-kick on the Wigan left which allowed West Brom to swing it in and attack the Wigan goal. Gareth McAuley beating everyone else to the ball and nodding the ball home to make it 2-1 at the Hawthorns.

We were flat and Martinez had to change it, and that is what he did. Bringing off Ronnie Stamm and Jordi Gomez, on came Roman Golobart and James McArthur. Wigan switching to a 3-4-3 formation to attack the Baggies defense more. Within 60 second Wigan had an equalizer.

A break by Wigan saw the ball wide to Shaun Maloney on the left hand-side. The midfielder swung in a lovely begging cross into the box, which beat everyone apart from James McArthur who head Wigan back into the game. 2-2 and it was game on again.

We didn't seem to know when to die. Every time we got knocked down we were willing to bounce back and take the game to West Brom. Now wanting to take the lead we tried to work the ball to our advantage and take the lead. Shaun Maloney playing more centrally now was able to find the openings.

Another injury for Wigan would came with twenty minutes to go. Jean Beausejour signalling to the bench that he had to come off. The winger was then stretcher off and it looks like it could see us without any left footed players for the rest of the season. Roger Espionza came on to play in that left wing back position.

As the time ticked down, it looked like the game could be going for a draw. But up popped Maloney who much like last season seems intent of making this Wigan team score goals. Playing down the left hand-side, the Scottish international twisted and turned his way to the by-line before pulling the ball back for Callum McManaman.

Callum who had been out of the game for large parts of it coming into it when it most mattered.

Ten minutes still to play and West Brom weren't going to give up in front of their home fans. They kept coming forward and looked to try and get through us anyway possible. They nearly managed to do so in the dying minutes of the game, with another free kick.

The ball whipped in saw Joel come, and miss it. The ball was free and heading into the goal before Ben Watson headed it off the line and into the hands of our goalkeeper. Hold it up and tick away the seconds.

The whistle was a sweet relief as Wigan picked up a massive three points.