Josh Windass and Leon Clarke goals give Latics important 2-1 win against Queens Park Rangers.
- Match Report: Wigan Athletic 2 – 1 Queens Park Rangers
- Josh Windass and Leon Clarke score to give Latics vital home win against QPR
- Rangers set up tense finish with Bright Osayi-Samuel strike
WIGAN ATHLETIC 2
QUEENS PARK RANGERS 1
Attendance: 9,799 (770 away)
Goals from Josh Windass and Leon Clarke set Latics on their way to a vital home victory as Paul Cook’s side beat Queens Park Rangers 2-1 at the DW Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Windass put Latics ahead early on before Clarke’s second gave Latics comfort, albeit that was taken away soon after as Bright Osayi-Samuel saw a deflected effort go in.
Latics now sit 19th in the Sky Bet Championship table, seven points from safety, whilst QPR drop to 14th.
Cook made four changes to his side with Danny Fox straight in for his debut as captain, whilst Clarke made his 'second debut' following his return to the club on loan from Sheffield United. Lee Evans returned in midfield and Anthony Pilkington was fit again following a brief spell on the sidelines.
Samy Morsy missed out due to suspension, Darron Gibson and Chey Dunkley took up places on the bench, whilst Clarke took James Vaughan's place following the striker's loan move to Portsmouth.
New signing Beni Baningime made the bench following his arrival on loan from Everton, but Jonas Olsson missed out on the squad after joining the club yesterday.
Latics faced an early test as Jamie Jones spilled a long-range shot from Nahki Wells but reacted superbly to pounce on the loose ball as Luke Freeman looked set to finish.
After he felt aggrieved not to have been awarded an early penalty when he was pulled down in the area, Windass picked himself up to get the important opener as Jones’ long ball was flicked on by Clarke into his path and he finished coolly for his fourth goal of the season and second in as many matches.
Latics were soon thankful to their goalkeeper and defence as they QPR reacted immediately with Jones out to make a brave save from Wells when he broke through on goal before Kal Naismith headed off the line from a Toni Leistner header.
Early in the second-half, Latics had a chance to increase their lead as Michael Jacobs broke on the counter and forced Joe Lumley into a strong low save.
Jacobs was provider, though, as Latics got their all important second as he broke on the left and crossed for the back post where Clarke was waiting to finish coolly under pressure.
The game fell into a relatively flat pattern for nearly 20 minutes before an Osayi-Samuel shot went in via a deflection to set up a tense finish.
Leistner hit the bar with a header from a set-piece as the pressure built and substitute Matt Smith headed over from Wells’ deep cross as the DW Stadium tension built.
There was huge relief after four minutes of stoppage time as Cook’s side held on for a vital win.
Latics: Jones, Byrne, Kipre, Fox (Capt) (Dunkley 78), Naismith, James, Evans, Pilkington (Gibson 75), Windass, Jacobs, Clarke (Garner 75)
Subs: Walton, Baningime, McManaman, Roberts.
QPR: Lumley, Furlong, Bidwell, Freeman, Eze (Smith 62), Scowen, Luongo (Manning 87), Wszolek (Osayi-Samuel 45), Wells, Lynch, Leistner (Capt)
Subs: Ingram, Hall, Cousins, Kakay