Latics march on
By Paul Higham. Last Updated: October 15, 2005 2:19pm
Wigan maintained their fairytale start to the Premiership season as Jason Roberts gave them a 1-0 win over Newcastle at The JJB Stadium.
Paul Jewell's men have taken to life in The Premiership like a duck to water and they secured their fifth win out of eight games to temporarily move up to the lofty heights of second in the table.
Roberts had earlier struck a post before he gave The Latics the lead five minutes before half time, but there was controversy to come in the second period.
Alan Shearer's header looked to have crossed the line before Leighton Baines cleared, but the linesman failed to give a goal, while Lee McCulloch was somewhat harshly sent off for the hosts five minutes from time to make them sweat for the three points.
Roberts fired a warning at Newcastle in the 12th minute when he raced on to Jean-Alain Boumsong's ill-judged header towards his own goal from near halfway, and the Wigan forward battled with Robbie Elliot before hitting his shot against the post.
Roberts then found himself unmarked and surprisingly onside after a corner was headed back towards goal, but he could not connect from six yards and Shay Given claimed the ball easily.
The visitors tried to respond and the lively Lee Bowyer latched on to Alan Shearer's flick on and his scuffed effort from the edge of the box beat the scrambling John Filan but came off the foot of the post.
The breakthrough came for Wigan five minutes before the interval when Henri Camara's clever flick was collected by Damien Francis in space 30 yards out.
Former Norwich man Francis slipped in a fine ball for Roberts who struck his effort between Given's legs and, although the Irish keeper got a big chunk of the ball, it managed to find its way over the line.
Camara showed another good touch moments later when a clever nutmeg gave him the chance to shoot left footed from the edge of the box, but it went straight at Given.
Wigan started the second half brightly and Jimmy Bullard blazed over after a well-worked free kick from 25 yards.
Substitute Shola Ameobi tumbled inside the box under a challenge from keeper Filan, but referee Phil Dowd waved away Newcastle appeals for a penalty.
Newcastle were up in arms again when they looked to have been denied a goal after Shearer's header from Emre's corner was cleared by Baines, but the left back looked to be well behind the line.
However, the linesman indicated that it was not a goal and Wigan breathed a huge sigh of relief, while Souness was left furious on the touchline.
The Latics fell further back as they looked to defend their narrow lead, but they were made to sweat even more for the final five minutes when referee Dowd sent off Lee McCulloch for a kick at Emre.
The ten men of Wigan managed to hold on for the closing minutes to amazingly move up into second place in the Premiership table, if only temporarily.
|Wigan Athletic||Team Statistics||Newcastle United|
|3||Shots on Target||3|
|5||Shots off Target||2|
Barclays Premier League
|15||West Bromwich Albion||15||15|
|17||West Ham United||15||13|