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Match Reports

Lions lose out as Wigan win

Our report from the DW Stadium

22 February 2020

Millwall were defeated 1-0 by Wigan Athletic in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday afternoon.

Shaun Hutchinson turned the ball into his own net in the 57th minute to give The Latics all three points.

Gary Rowett named an unchanged XI for the trip to the DW Stadium, with two changes coming on the bench as Billy Mitchell and Mason Bennett replaced Ryan Leonard and Jiri Skalak.

There was little in the way of goalmouth action in the opening stages, with The Latics perhaps the more likely of the two sides to create, but they were unable to get past Millwall's defence - that was until an Anthony Pilkington cross looked for Kieffer Moore at the back post, but the striker failed to make contact with the ball.

The Lions found their way behind Wigan's back-line for the first time with 15 minutes played, but Mahlon Romeo's cross was blocked. At the other end, Alex Pearce was on hand to deny Jamal Lowe, before it appeared as though Ryan Woods had danced his way to a penalty-kick shortly before the half-hour mark; referee Jeremy Simpson signalling a free-kick right on the line, however.

A teasing Jake Cooper cross was acrobatically cleared by Cedric Kipre as The Lions looked to carve out an opening, with the best chance coming with 40 minutes on the clock, however, after neat football involving Romeo, Tom Bradshaw and Jed Wallace, the latter's cross was glanced wide by Jon Dadi Bodvarsson before being knocked out of play by Murray Wallace.

There was a hairy moment for the home side early on in the second-half, but after Latics goalkeeper David Marshall dropped the ball, Bradshaw pounced but could only fire wide. Pilkington's deflected effort then looked to be looping towards Bartosz Bialkowski's far corner, but the ball rolled just wide.

Cooper blocked from Moore as the striker looked the bulldoze his way into the area before Murray Wallace cleared off the goal-line, but the opening goal of the game came just a minute later as Hutchinson turned the ball into his own net after Lowe just about kept the ball in play on Millwall's left-hand side.

The home side were in the ascendancy after the deadlock was broken and Bialkowski was tested through Pilkington's long-range free-kick, but the stopper palmed wide. After Bradshaw nodded wide from Romeo's cross, Rowett introduced Bennett into the action for his Lions debut, alongside Matt Smith, who replaced captain Pearce and Bodvarsson respectively.

Latics skipper Sam Morsy then struck over as Wigan looked to double their advantage, before The Lions looked to barge their way through to the net as the rain came down - a series of headers offered no direction towards goal, though.

Bennett was Millwall's bright spark in their attempts to get back into the game, with the wide man producing cross after cross, but his best opportunity fell at his feet with 15 minutes remaining, however he sliced wide of the far post. The chances kept coing for The Lions as they were now on top, but a series of attacking play ended with Murray Wallace firing just wide from distance.

In horrendous conditions The Lions were forcing their opponents to defend their own goal-line, but try as they might, the ball would not drop. Jed Wallace's corner with seven minutes remaining flashed across the face of goal without a touch in the next episode.

Bennett had a shot which hit the side-netting as the final moments approached, but Wigan negotiated three minutes of stoppage-time to claim all the victory and condemn The Lions to defeat.

Wigan Athletic: Marshall, Byrne, Morsy, Pilkington (Gelhardt 76'), Lowe (Evans 85'), Jacobs, Moore, Williams, Kipre, Naismith, Balogun. Subs not used: Jones, Massey, T. Pearce, Garner, Roberts.

Scorer: Hutchinson og 57'

Booking: Kipre

Millwall: Bialkowski, M. Wallace, Hutchinson, Cooper, J. Wallace, Bradshaw (Mahoney 78'), Romeo, A. Pearce (Bennett 64'), Molumby, Woods, Bodvarsson (Smith 64'). Subs not used: Steele, Ferguson, Mitchell, O'Brien.

Booking: J. Wallace, Molumby, M. Wallace

Referee: Jeremy Simpson

Attendance: 9,639 (697)

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