Match Report: Burton Albion 0-2 Wigan Athletic
Debutant Callum Connolly’s double helped Wigan gain a vital three points in their survival bid against fellow strugglers Burton Albion.
Defender Callum Connolly was signed on loan from Everton earlier in the afternoon and had a dream debut for the Latics.
Before the game, both sides paid their respects to the late Graham Taylor, by holding a minute’s applause in his honour after he recently passed away last week.
Burton Albion started the brightest with their best chance falling to Chris O’Grady, but his shot was blocked on the line by Wigan captain Stephen Warnock
Wigan Athletic grew into the game as the tie went on, and had a few chances to take the lead.
Max Power narrowly fired wide, while Micheal Jacobs had a goal ruled out as Sam Morsy was judged to be offside by the officials.
Will Grigg also had an effort go narrowly wide after some fantastic wing play by Yanic Wildschut.
Stephen Warnock, who assisted both of Wigan’s goals in their 2-0 win versus Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup, crossed an excellent left footed ball into the six yard box, which was headed into the back of the net by debutant Callum Connelly. Wigan did a similar feat to last week, as Callum Connolly’s header was right on the stroke of half time.
Burton Albion were forced to make a change at half time after goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin believed to have had a head injury.
Burton Albion came out in the second half strong, putting the Wigan Athletic under pressure by barricading the Latics from leaving their own half. Burton, however didn’t really create any clear cut chances and were punished for not using their possession wisely.
Callum Connolly doubled Wigan Athletic’s lead, scoring a well placed header from a Micheal Jacobs’ corner. It is very arguable that the goal was against the run of play, but possession is not useful if you don’t take advantage with it.
Wigan fans were enjoying themselves, and were very vocal across the 90 minutes, singing non-stop supporting the team. However the fans had a worrying moment, when Wigan duo Yanic Wildschut and Max Power both went off injured in the later stages of the game.
Dan Burn saved a Palmer effort off the line while Chris O’Grady had a long range effort strongly saved by Jacob Haugaard.
Wigan Athletic held on for the three points, and picked up a fantastic 2-0 win at the Pirelli Stadium.
The Brewers have now lost their past four home games in the Championship and sit just one point above the relegation zone.
Wigan remain 23rd, but are now just three points behind the Brewers and two behind Blackburn Rovers who lost 3-2 versus Ipswich Town.
Wigan manager Warren Joyce was delighted with his side’s performance, however he warned fans that the relegation battle is far from over as he stated “It’s a great win but it’s just three points and there is still a long way to go in the season”
Joyce was full of praise of his defenders as he said post-match “Today, Burton could have scored a couple of goals but the way the defenders put their bodies on the line consistently you sometimes earn a little bit of luck when you are that brave.”
Burton manager Nigel Clough rued Burton’s defending and the timing of the first goal as he said “”It’s a frustrated dressing room because we have given away two of the softest goals we have given away all season.
“The timing as well is difficult. I think that is three in recent games just before half-time, in added time, and that is something that has to be addressed.”
Wigan Athletic face Brentford FC in their next outing at the DW Stadium while Burton Albion travel to Cardiff City.
Burton Albion 0-2 Wigan Athletic
Callum Connolly(45+1, 64′)
Burton Albion: McLaughlin(Bywater 45′), Brayford, McFadzean,Turner, Akins, Palmer, Murphy(Naylor 84′), Dyer(McCrory 84′) Ward, Sordell, O’Grady
Unused Subs- Flanagan, Mousinho, Williamson, Barker
Wigan Athletic: Haugaard, Connolly, Burn, Buxton, Warnock, Power(Morgan 85′), MacDonald, Morsy, Jacobs, Grigg, Wildschut(Flores 80′)
Unused Subs- Jaaskelainen, Luke Burke, Gomez, Colclough, Le Fondre
Referee: Andy Madley
Written by Jay Whittle