Latics 1-0 Stoke City


Yesterday’s game, was another must win after the teams heroic last week. We went into the game knowing that fate wasn’t in our own hands, but that we had any number of different ways and we would still be a Premier League football team. All we had to do though was do our job, win our game and hope that everyone else would slip up around us.

The first half started, and you could tell which team was in the bottom three. The Latics looked anxious and nervy and their passes were going anyway shape and form. The signs weren’t looking good, as Stoke started to mount some pressure on the Wigan goal.

They look like they would be the first to score, and they did. A Delap throw in, how vital have they been to Stoke, found Jones. Jones’s header beat the defence, and had Ali beaten. However Jonathan Walters was three yards offside, and decide to poke the ball home, a stroke of luck for the Latics.

Yet they didn’t learn from it. Within minutes, Stoke had us back under pressure, again from a Delap throwing. Ali came and punched it away, before again it dropped to Jones. Ever dependable Boyce throwing is body at the ball on the line to keep the scores level. Still no Latics reply, we were trying to do too much with the ball and putting our defence under increasing pressure at the other end.

Both Jones and Pennat had shot on goal. Both were comfortably saved by Ali. But the signs were there that Wigan needed to up their game; we were just about hanging on to half time. As it stood as the players went down the tunnel, Wigan were heading out of the Premier League,

The second half looked a much different prospect now. For one we knew that if scores stayed how they were, we wouldn’t have done enough, so we needed to win. Whatever Martinez said last week, must have been re-said this week. The team came out ready for a fight and to get a goal.

N’Zogbia could have been given a penalty ten minutes into the half. The tackle from Pennant on Charlie could have been deemed a foul had the Frenchman gone now. Instead he stayed on his feet and managed a blistering shot into the bottom corner of the net.

We were starting to see most of the ball now, and because of it, we took the sting out of Stoke. Watson was starting to come into the game. He managed to find Sammon again, but this time the Irishman could only find the grateful hands of Begovic, no dream goal for Sammon who was later substitute by Di Santo.

On the minute went, Stoke coming back at Wigan. But again our defence managed to hold strong, something at the beginning of the season we were very much lacking. With twelve minutes to go, came the decisive goal. Watson found himself in the middle of the park. He played a ball wide to Figeroua who managed to whip a ball into the box. For once this season, there was a striker in the centre; Rodallga the grateful player to head the ball home. 1-0 Latics

But the game wasn’t done yet, each minute felt like a life time and the players were now getting a bit jumpy. A silly foul was given away against Pennant, with only a few minutes to go. Whelan the taker, the ball flew through the air and to Latics relief missed the goal by about an inch over the bar.

The whistle went, Wigan had done it. A well deserved three points and we didn’t play well and still managed to get them. The team really is coming into its own, shame the season is over now, but we are safe for another year in the Premier League.

What a game it was, and it didn’t do my nerves any good. Right up till the whistle went my heart could have stopped at any moment throughout the game, but we did It; and the striker who said he owed us a goal, scored the most important goal in his Latics career. Quite a nice rounding off to the day was that it was the first back to back wins the club has down under Martinez. So very well done Wigan, no let’s look forward to another season at the top of English Football.

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