Latics lose at Ewood Park to Marvin Emnes strike
- Wigan Athletic lose to Blackburn Rovers in the Sky Bet Championship.
- Marvin Emnes scores in 2nd half for home side
- Shaun MacDonald stretchered off after just six minutes
- Manager Warren Joyce at the game following surgery
BLACKBURN ROVERS 1
WIGAN ATHLETIC 0
Attendance – 13,165 (1,965 away)
Latics lost at Ewood Park to a second half Marvin Emnes strike on a disappointing day in East Lancashire.
In a tight game, the Dutch striker’s curling shot was enough to separate the sides and despite pushing for an equaliser in the late stages, Latics could not find a way through.
Manager Warren Joyce was at the stadium following surgery, but was not able to take his normal place on the touchline.
There were two changes for Latics, Michael Jacobs returned after missing three games with a hamstring injury and Callum Connolly returned at right back after being rested against Nottingham Forest. Max Power dropped to the bench, while Mikael Mandron was not in the squad.
Power had to wait just six minutes to come on the field after Shaun MacDonald was stretchered off following a collision in centre-field with Sam Gallagher and received lengthy treatment. That proved to be the main incident in a tense first half of few clear-cut chances.
Latics did come close when Michael Jacobs picked the ball up in the centre-circle on 21 minutes and ran half the length of the field before shooting just wide from the edge of the box. The best other opening came right at the end of the half when Sam Morsy drove at goal only for Darragh Lenihan to divert the ball a foot or so wide of Jason Steele’s right post.
For Blackburn, Liam Feeney did test Matt Gilks inside the first two minutes with a shot from outside the area but their most dangerous moment otherwise probably came when Dan Burn brilliantly intercepted a drive from Marvin Emnes from ten yards.
Bogle turned swiftly in the area, almost straight from the restart, but Charlie Mulgrew blocked his effort well and the ball bobbled gently into Steele’s arms.
Rovers then immediately threatened with a Feeney shot and a Leniham header, both deflected for corners. Connolly did shoot on 55 minutes, but Steele saved and Rovers immediately responded with their goal, Emnes curling a shot inside Gilks’ near post from the edge of the box.
They went close again on 63 minutes when substitute Mahoney shot wide on the angle, then fellow substitute Elliot Bennett shot wide from the other side.
Latics had to regroup quickly. They made a double change bringing on Will Grigg and Gabriel Obertan in place of Connolly and Jacobs and regained their composure. Burn had a header just wide from Jamie Hanson’s corner on 77 minutes but then Burn had to be in the right place again to block substitute Danny Graham’s effort as Rovers broke.
Latics tried hard to get an equaliser in the closing stages, throwing bodies forwards but they just couldn’t find a way through, the best chance coming for Hanson late on hen he found space to shoot in the box but he wasn't able to keep it on target.
Steele, Nyambe, Lenihan, Mulgrew, Williams, Feeney (Mahoney, 56), Lowe, Guthrie, Conway (Graham 56), Emnes (Bennett 61), Gallagher.
Subs not used: Raya (GK), Graham, Hoban, Bennett, Tomlinson, Mahoney, Joao..
Gilks, Connolly (Obeertan, 70), Burn, Buxton, Warnock, Hanson, MacDonald (Power 6), Morsy, Tunnicliffe, Jacobs (Grigg, 70), Bogle
Subs not used: Evans, Perkins. Gilbey, Weir.