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Match Reports

Match Report : 13/04/2013

13 April 2013

Full-time from Wembley Stadium

Millwall's hopes of reaching a second FA Cup Final in nine years were left in tatters after goals from Shaun Maloney (25mins) and Callum McManaman (78mins) saw Wigan Athletic through to their first-ever Final.
Roberto Martinez's side showed their Premier League class throughout, retaining possession well and really making The Lions work, and having sustained a period of pressure from Kenny Jackett's side whilst 1-0 up, produced a killer second goal 12 minutes from time.
Lions boss Jackett made two changes to the side that had been beaten by Sheffield Wednesday at home on Tuesday night, with winger James Henry and Andy Keogh coming in for George Saville and Rob Hulse, who dropped to the bench.
Midfielder Liam Trotter, sidelined through injury in that midweek defeat, was named as one of the subs.
Striker Keogh had an early half-chance but he headed wide from Shane Lowry’s delivery and then the Latics created an opportunity of their own, but it took a great block by Mark Beevers to divert a Jordi Gomez drive.
Martinez's men forced several early corners and from one, a quick Lions counter-attack ended with Henry's low drive bobbling a couple of yards wide of Ali Al Habsi's post.
Lions stopper David Forde made a great save to turn McManaman’s 20-yard effort behind for a corner as Wigan continued to ask questions of the Lions rearguard.
It was no surprise really when the Latics broke the deadlock midway through the opening half; Kone's intelligent pass picked out the unmarked Maloney and he swept the ball home with aplomb.
Lions winger Henry had the ball nicked off of his toe by Gomez as he was about to pull the trigger and at the other end Paul Scharner saw his volley caught by Forde.
Millwall's Chris Taylor saw his header from a Henry corner blocked and then the ball subsequently smuggled clear as Jackett's men tried to build up a head of steam.
But Wigan threatened themselves and it took another smart stop by Forde to prevent Gomez’s 18 yard curler doubling their lead three minutes before the break.
The lively McManaman eased past both Alan Dunne and Jimmy Abdou five minutes into the second half before arrowing a shot that flew narrowly over the bar as Wigan created an early opening after the restart.
Henry saw a 59th minute free-kick curl agonisingly over after Chris Taylor had been tripped around 25 yards out before both Keogh and then Mark Beevers saw their efforts deflected by last-ditch tackles.
Skipper Danny Shittu powered a header high over the bar and shortly after Jackett made his first change bringing on Hulse for Smith and reverting to a 4-4-2 formation.
Moments later The Lions loud appeals for a penalty fell on deaf ears when Keogh's shot appeared to hit a Wigan defender on the arm.
The Latics responded with the lively McManaman picking out Gomez, who fired into the side netting.
But Wigan made no mistake the next time an opportunity came their way and the Gomez-McManaman combination paid off handsomely when the latter picked up a threaded through ball and slid a low shot past Forde to send the Latics fans into ecstasy.
The Lions stopper did well with four minutes remaining with a smart block from Kone, whose selfless performance was deserving of a goal.
With the game effectively out of Millwall's reach manager Jackett, having already introduced Liam Trotter for Abdou, made his third and final change handing Shaun Batt a cameo appearance in place of Keogh.
However The Lions were unable to really trouble a superbly organised and disciplined Wigan side, who comfortably ran down the clock to bring the curtain down on Millwall's FA Cup dream for another season.

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