Sky Bet Championship: Wigan repel Leeds pressure to grind out a 1-0 home victory
Last Updated: 05/04/14 3:28pm
Martyn Waghorn: Netted the winner for Wigan
Wigan strengthened their Championship play-off credentials with a 1-0 win over stubborn Leeds United at the DW Stadium.
Martyn Waghorn celebrated signing a permanent deal with the promotion-chasing home side by netting the winner in the 33rd minute.
Striker Waghorn was on loan at the DW Stadium until Friday night when he departed Premier League-bound Leicester to become a permanent fixture in Uwe Rosler's squad.
The 24-year-old may yet end up playing in the top flight with Latics, who consolidated their play-off spot with the hard-earned victory.
While things are looking up for the FA Cup holders, this defeat is, ultimately, of little significance to Leeds' fortunes when compared to their murky ownership status.
Things are still in a state of flux regarding prospective buyer Massimo Cellino's takeover, although a decision on his appeal to the Football League is seemingly imminent, possibly as soon as today.
The uncertainty of what is going on above them has clearly had a detrimental effect on Leeds players' onfield performance, as one win in 10 before this will attest to. However, they were certainly up for the challenge of meeting one of the division's in-form teams.
Roared on by a partisan away following - which stopped play momentarily when a flare was thrown on to the pitch - Scott Wootton's crunching tackle on former Manchester United team-mate Nick Powell showed the Whites were fired up.
Powell himself almost turned in James Perch's flick-on from Jordi Gomez's free-kick while James McArthur's last-ditch challenge prevented the dangerous Ross McCormack from shaping to shoot.
The contest was struggling to find any real rhythm and Gomez's long-range try which flew wide of the post was the closest either side came in the opening half-hour.
However, 12 minutes before the interval, Wigan grabbed the opener.
The visitors had failed to clear their lines when Waghorn's cross had evaded everyone across the six-yard box and McArthur's dancing feet brought him to the edge of the area. The Scot fell over a dangling Leeds leg but the ball broke kindly for Waghorn and Wigan's latest permanent recruit drilled past goalkeeper Jack Butland, who could only weakly push it into the corner.
Following a struggling start to the first period, Rosler's men were far brighter after the half-time whistle. James Perch's shot was brilliantly deflected over the top by Stephen Warnock's sliding intervention while Waghorn's free-kick did not have sufficient enough dip to trouble Butland.
Powell appeared onside when the assistant's flag brought him back as he honed in on goal but the Whites were giving as good as they got, Matt Smith leaping over Ivan Ramis to head wide. For the most part, though, home goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi was untroubled with Michael Tonge's deflected shot a simple one to claim.
The scrappy nature continued to hamper both teams with the sideshow of ex-Latics midfielder Michael Brown's personal battle with Gomez almost more entertaining.
Leeds could have claimed a share of the spoils in the last 10 minutes when McCormack finally got a sniff of goal. Al Habsi was nowhere near his elevated effort but the ball dropped wide of the far post anyway.
Jason Pearce also headed over but the travelling support were more concerned with airing their grievances to the Football League on a potentially pivotal day in their club's history.
Sky Bet Championship
Sat 5th Apr
Wigan1 - 0Leeds
Barnsley0 - 0Brighton
Blackburn2 - 0Ipswich
Blackpool1 - 2Yeovil
B'mouth2 - 1QPR
Charlton0 - 1Reading
Doncaster1 - 3Birm'ham
Huddsf'ld0 - 1Bolton
M'boro1 - 0Derby
N Forest1 - 2Millwall
Watford1 - 1Burnley
Sky Bet Championship
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