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Match Report: Rotherham United 1-2 Wigan Athletic

A must win game and yet again, away from home, we won! The travelling fans really got behind the team as we closed the gap to six points on Fulham and Rotherham United.

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

One change from the following weekend's defeat to Leeds United as Ali Al Habsi returned in goal for an injured Scott Carson who didn't even make the bench. Leon Clarke was still out injured with a hamstring injury, the striker we all hope will be closing in on a return for the last run in of games at the club.

It was very much a seige mentality kind of atmosphere as a crowded end of over 1,000 Wiganers would cheer and shout the lads onto the win in a game where the importance was known to every single player on both teams. All the goals would come in a very open scrappy first half, you could tell it was a battle of two teams down at the bottom.

It was the home-side who got off the best start as they opened up with attacking intent. In the long run that would play into our hands as we are very prepared to hit sides on the counter attack. James McClean, Sheyi Ojo, Jermaine Pennant and Kim Bo Kyung do provide some dangerous attacking pace when going forward.

Shame Marc Antoine Fortune wasn't at the races. The striker was drowned out by a physical Rotherham defence which were prepared to header and tackle all day long. In the end that would prove their undoing as too fouls on the edge of their own box would result in two free-kicks and two goals for Jermaine Pennant.

The winger putting the first one to the left of the goalkeeper, the second one was whipped with menace to the right hand-side. No stopping them by Adam Colin.

The goals did really go against the run of play as Rotherham had been the team creating more chances going forward. Yet our defensive partnership of Harry Maguire and Jason Pearce had been working tirelessly to keep them out. In the secnd half the defensive pairing would go on to shine even more along with goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi.

Back to the first half though, and Rotherham pulled a goal back. A corner wasn't cleared properly and the ball was fired back out to Ben Pringle on the right hand-side, who was in acres of space. The wingers cross came in and found the head of Matt Derbyshire.

Many fingers were pointed by the Wigan players at Gaten Bong who hadn't recovered his position.

Roll on the second half, and roll on Rotherham's siege. But much like the first they found it hard to break past a well drilled Wigan defensive line. Maguire was winning more or less every header in the air, and every tackle was being won by the defensive duo.

Our midfield was non-existent though, which is a massive worry going into the Watford game.

In the end it would take a world class save from Ali Al Habsi to win us the game. Long ball over the top of the Wigan defence saw us scrambling to get a head to the ball. A Rotherham head got to the ball first, and the ball was sent heading to the corner, Ali dived and saved; before blocking the rebound for a Wigan player to clear.

That was the closest they came in the second half due to our resolute defending.

In the end we could have grabbed a third, after a William Kvist effort was blocked and went spinning into the air. Adam Colin had to time is jump right to tip the ball over the top of the goal.

A confidence boosting win, with two home games coming up; the need to find our form at home is building even more so.