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Wigan 0 Millwall 1

8 April 2014

Full-time from the DW Stadium

Carlos Edwards picked the perfect time to score his first goal for Millwall to secure a second successive away win as The Lions boosted their survival hopes with a first 'double' of the season against high-flying Wigan.

The Lions, who have shipped more goals than any other team in the division, withstood a relentless second-half onslaught from the Latics to gain a welcome clean sheet to go with three points that keep Ian Holloway's side breathing down the neck of fourth from bottom Charlton, who face a trip to Play-Off hopefuls Brighton this weekend.

If Saturday's victory at Nottingham Forest was good, Tuesday night's 1-0 success at the DW Stadium was even better.

Boss Holloway had the luxury of naming an unchanged team for the first time since taking charge at The Den 17 games ago.

The side again started set up as a 4-2-3-1 formation with giant Austrian Stefan Maierhofer making only his second full appearance for the club at the 'top' of the front-line whilst Latics manager Uwe Rosler, a big advocate of rotating his squad, made eight changes to the team that beat Leeds 1-0 at the weekend including a first game in six months for Shaun Maloney.

Wigan, who face Arsenal in the FA Semi-Final at Wembley this Saturday, could have been forgiven for having one eye on matters away from the DW Stadium on Tuesday night. 

That certainly appeared to be the case in the opening 45 minutes as Rosler's men looked a shadow of the team that had lost just once in their previous 14 outings.

The Lions started confidently with Lee Martin and Martyn Woolford stretching the Latics back four with some penetrative runs down the flanks.

The duo combined well on 19 minutes with Martin the provider, sending an inviting deep ball into the danger zone that was met by Woolford, whose header was held by home keeper Scott Carson.

Two minutes later Millwall's promising opening play was rewarded with a crucial first goal. Right-back Edwards picked up the ball in his own half and set off on a mazy run right through the heart of a home defence that stepped away from making any real challenge. As he closed down on goal, Edwards spotted Carson off his line and lofted the ball over the advancing keeper, his effort taking a little deflection en route to the back of the net.

Owen Garvan set up Martin six minutes later, the latter firing over from 16 yards as The Lions continued to ask questions of the Wigan defence.

Keeper David Forde was called into action towards the end of the first half with an excellent double save to deny former Lions loanee Martyn Waghorn and Rob Kiernan.

Following a fairly listless opening half an hour by the hosts, the Latics did enjoy a little spell of pressure. A mix-up by Alan Dune and Edwards enabled Nicky Maynard to nip in, but the striker rushed his shot and lashed over wildly with an angled drive.

But with Dunne and Mark Beevers outstanding at the heart of the Millwall rearguard and their team-mates putting in a massive, determined shift, the hosts were restricted in terms of clear chances on goal.
Wigan made a double change at the break and went for broke as they pushed The Lions to their defensive limit with a relentless spells of pressure.

Wigan's best opportunity to level came with 15 minutes remaining when Jack Collison did manage to penetrate the back line, but fired across the face of goal and wide of the far post.

The Lions should have doubled their tally on 81 minutes following an almighty scramble. Scott Malone's initial shot after a mazy run was parried by keeper Carson, sub Steve Morison picked up the loose ball with his back to goal, saw his effort and then another from Woolford clawed away, although the Lions fans behind the goal seemed to think that Morison's shot had actually crossed the line.

Somehow the ball was kept out though, setting up a nervy finale in which Wigan pressed, Millwalll dug in and the visiting fans roared the team over the finishing line for the first back-to-back wins since September and a big step towards Championship safety.

Wigan: Carson, McEachran (McArthur, 46mins), Maloney, McClean (Powell, 83mins), Boyce, Beausejour, Barnett, Maynard (Fortune, 46mins), Kiernan, Waghorn, Collison. Subs not used: Nicholls, Caldwell, Rogne, McManaman.

Millwall: Forde, Edwards (Fredericks, 46mins), Malone, Beevers, Dunne; Bailey, Upson (Williams, 66mins); Martin, Garvan, Woolford; Maierhofer (Morison, 67mins). Subs not used: Bywater, Robinson, Jackson, McDonald.
Booking: Upson (44mins). Maierhofer (51mins), Forde (90mins)
Scorer: Edwards (21mins)

Ref: K. Hill
14,124 (away 327)Att:

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