Leaders edge past Bluebirds
By Mark Kendall. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Wigan were once again indebted to strike duo Nathan Ellington and Jason Roberts who fired the leaders to a 2-1 win over Cardiff.
The Latics were lacklustre for long spells, but the potent attacking pair ensured they emerged with maximum points.
Ellington and Roberts took their joint tally for the season to nine with a goal apiece in the first half that ultimately proved decisive.
Cardiff had the first chance of the afternoon but Alan Lee sent a header wide from Jobi McAnuff's inviting right-wing cross.
The hosts moved ahead on the quarter hour mark when Ellington won a penalty after inducing a rash tackle from Rhys Weston in the box, and got up to coolly convert - sending Tony Warner the wrong way.
Roberts doubled the advantage ten minutes before the break when he latched on to a long ball and produced an excellent curling finish from 15 yards.
Shorn of the services of Robert Earnshaw - who completed a move to West Brom on Monday - Cardiff lacked a cutting edge up front with Andy Campbell struggling to make an impression.
However, the flame-haired hit-man earned the visitors a lifeline on 65 minutes when, after a neat exchange with Graham Kavanagh, he raced clear and rounded goalkeeper John Filan who subsequently brought him down for a penalty.
Filan protested vehemently he had not made contact with Campbell but was fortunate to only be shown a yellow card.
Lee stepped up to dispatch the spot-kick under Filan's dive, and the goal galvanised the Welsh outfit.
However, despite Cardiff's best efforts it was Ellington and Roberts who went closest to scoring again.
Ellington flashed a 25-yard shot narrowly wide on 76 minutes, and then combined well with his strike partner five minutes later but from his pass Roberts lifted his finish over Warner and wrong side of the post.