Brighton and Hove Albion vs. Wigan Athletic
Date: Saturday 23rd February 2014
Venue: The Amex Stadium
Referee: Carl Boyeson
Wigan Athletic made it four win in a row in all competitions with a nervy 2-1 win over promotion rivals, Brighton and Hove Albion.
In a must win game for the Latics, James McArthur struck first as he placed a left-footed shot past ‘keeper, Tomasz Kuszczak.
With a header from 12 yards, Chris McCann made it 2-0 after halftime a head got on the end of a Martyn Waghorn corner.
Leonardo Ulloa made sure that it was a nervous last twelve minutes for Wigan as he made the score 2-1 with a close-range strike.
This win keeps Wigan in seventh place but, due to Reading losing to Ipswich, they are now within one point of the play-off positions.
Brighton were definitely the team in control in the opening stages of the game and it was Ulloa who first troubled Latics’ ‘keeper, Ali Al-Habsi with a shot from five yards.
Wigan were lucky to get through the first twenty minutes without conceding as Dale Stephens should have done better with a header that he put over the bar.
However, former England international Matthew Upson gifted Wigan an opportunity to put themselves ahead and they did not waste it.
Upson, in an attempt to clear the ball just behind the halfway line, smacked the ball straight at McArthur, who managed to control the ball eventually, take on Upson himself, and slot the ball home.
It continued to be the home side who dominated and they should have scored when Stephens hit the underside of the cross bar from the penalty spot. This was worrying for the Latics as Stephens was unmarked and Brighton looked dangerous every time they advanced into the final third.
Then, just after halftime, McCann put Wigan two goals ahead with a firm header into the right hand side of the net.
As the game drew to an end, Brighton piled on the pressure and finally, in the 78th minute, they got what they deserved, a goal. Andrea Orlandi put in a dangerous cross which was headed on by Upson, blocked, and then slid in by the unmarked Ulloa.
In the final minutes, Al-Habsi was called into action as he stopped Jonathon Obika from getting the equaliser for Brighton.
This was a massive win for the Latics and could mark the start of a late promotion push. And if Wigan continue to put in performances like this and continue to win whilst they are not at their best then there is no reason why they can’t do it.