Select a Team

Sky Bet Championship

St. Andrew's Stadium (ATT 20,427) 29th April 2014 - Kick off 19:45

Birm'ham Birmingham City vs Wigan Athletic Wigan

ft

Wigan 1

C McManaman (3)

Sky Bet Championship: Wigan into play-offs after 1-0 win at troubled Birmingham

Last Updated: 29/04/14 10:13pm

  • Share:
Scott Allan: Battles for the ball with James McArthur

Scott Allan: Battles for the ball with James McArthur

Birmingham remain in the Sky Bet Championship relegation zone after Callum McManaman's early goal earned Wigan a 1-0 win and secured the Latics a play-off place.

McManaman struck with his fourth goal of the season - and his second in the last four games - after he caught Birmingham napping in only the third minute at St Andrew's.

It was just the start that Wigan were seeking as they had been limping towards the play-offs after losing their previous two matches against Burnley and Blackpool.

But for Birmingham, only three years after winning the league cup when they beat Arsenal at Wembley, they are now staring into the relegation abyss following an 18th successive Championship home game without a win stretching back to October.

Their fate is now out of their own hands as even a win at Bolton in the final game of the season on Saturday might not be enough to save them if other results go against them.

Wigan made the dream start that they had been hoping for when Jordi Gomez simply waltzed through the Birmingham defence.

He was allowed time and space to surge forward before playing the ball to his left to pick out McManaman.

The winger took a couple of paces forward before curling his low right-footed shot beyond the outstretched hand of goalkeeper Darren Randolph.

Considering the woeful run in front of their own fans, Birmingham did well not to buckle completely after the shock of falling behind so soon after kick-off.

Lee Clark's side gradually got a foot-hold in the game and could have drawn level after 29 minutes only to be denied by a stunning save from former England goalkeeper Scott Carson.

After Birmingham skipper Chris Burke had seen his volley blocked, the ball fell kindly to Emyr Huws on the right hand edge of the area. His curling shot looked destined to fly into the top corner of Carson's net only for the ex-West Bromwich Albion keeper to somehow palm the ball away for a corner.

Clark tried to nick a goal by sending on giant striker Nikola Zigic at half-time but he struggled to find a way past Wigan's impressive central defensive pairing of captain Emmerson Boyce and Gary Caldwell.

When he did find an opening in the 69th minute, meeting a cross from right-back Paul Caddis, his weak header from six yards was comfortably dealt with by Carson.

Carson was by the busier of the two keepers and he came to Wigan's rescue twice in a frantic finale from Birmingham - first diving bravely at the feet of Federico Macheda to deflect his shot away for a corner, before diving low to his right to cling on to a drive from Hayden Mullins.

  • Share:

Matches

Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bournemouth 39 73
2 Watford 39 72
3 Middlesbrough 39 72
4 Norwich City 39 70
5 Derby County 39 67
6 Ipswich Town 39 67
7 Brentford 39 66
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 39 65
9 Nottingham Forest 39 57
10 Blackburn Rovers 39 54
11 Charlton Athletic 39 54
12 Sheffield Wednesday 39 53
13 Leeds United 39 52
14 Cardiff City 39 51
15 Birmingham City 38 47
16 Brighton and Hove Albion 39 45
17 Bolton Wanderers 39 45
18 Huddersfield Town 39 44
19 Reading 38 44
20 Fulham 39 43
21 Rotherham United 39 40
22 Wigan Athletic 39 35
23 Millwall 39 33
24 Blackpool 39 23

Related