Latics were unlucky not to take all three points from this game, but Fulham’s defence stood firm against a very impressive Wigan Athletic attacking performance. Emmerson Boyce’s goal was cancelled out by Clint Dempsey’s penalty in an entertaining match at the DW Stadium.


Emmerson Boyce (13)

Clinton Dempsey (39)

Latics went into this game looking to put the disappointing performance of last week behind them and they certainly did that. This game has been the Premier League bore match for Latics in the past after 4 years of going up against a very defence minded Fulham team, this match was very different though as wave after wave of attacks were resisted by the visitors.

Erik Edman made his first Premier League start for 20 months and the Swede didn’t disappoint as he took over the left back spot due to the long term injury to Maynor Figueroa. Paul Scharner also started after a midweek scare put a slight doubt on him playing.

As we’ve come to expect from Wigan, we started passing the ball really well and had much more possession than Fulham in the first 25 minutes. N’Zogbia provided Rodallega with the first opportunity but the Colombians strike was well block on the edge of the area. After a few minutes literally passed by as we dominated the midfield before N’Zogbia fired in a free kick that Bramble and Hugo both narrowly missed.

This was the final warning shot as in our next attack Diame pulled out a great save from Schwarzer, from the resulting corner, Edman placed a great ball in to the danger area for Scharner to head down and Boyce guided the ball home for 1-0. Latics didn’t stop there as they chased for a second, N’Zogbia tried his luck but again found the Cottagers stopper on great form. It gave the very few fans that Fulham brought a bit to cheer about, well I think it was a cheer I heard…..

Rodallega had a snap shot on the half hour mark but again he was thwarted by the keeper, Fulham then went close but Duffs effort went harmlessly over the bar before Rodallega again had a shot saved after good work from Scharner. The Austrian couldn’t believe how much room he had from the resulting corner but he somehow managed to steer it wide of the post with the goal beckoning.

We were to rue these missed chances as 5 minutes before half time Dempsey was tumbled over by Bramble and he slotted home the penalty kick himself. The half ended with Latics looking back at all the missed chances and huge amount of possession that they enjoyed counting for a 1-1 half time score.

The second half carried on as the first had finished, but Fulham had battened down the hatches now and most of the play would take place in the midfield. Most of our forward play was now being snuffed out by the numbers that Fulham now had back, but it didn’t stop Rodallega getting a shot away that well blocked by Hangeland.

Rodallega was getting some fine shooting practise this game, but unfortunately for him, he found a keeper on top form and when he could do anything the defence were snuffing everything else out. N’Zogbia had the move of the game as he waltzed by 5 Fulham defenders before Schwarzer again denied him with the very tips of his fingers and the ball was cleared by Konchesky.

Latics then had to substitute Edman and N’Zogbia had to reluctantly go to left back as Sinclair took his place on the wing. To be fair this really killed off Latics as their momentum seemed to go without the work rate of Charles in the middle. Fulham enjoyed their first bit of possession in the game as we regrouped and tried get some continuity back to our play.

For their ten minutes of possession, Fulham could still only manage two more shots on goal, both long range and both dealt with comfortably. We did manage to get another foothold on the game but it was far too late and the match rounded off with Rodallega’s shooting practise go high and over, Phil Dowd wrapped up a very good game, but one which we’ll feel we dropped two points in.

Report by Jayt

Cockney Latic Man of the Match: Paul Scharner
Referee: Phil Dowd
Attendance: 16,172
1 Chris Kirkland 1 Mark Schwarzer
25 Mario Melchiot 18 Aaron Hughes
17 Emmerson Boyce 3 Paul Konchesky
19 Titus Bramble 4 John Pantsil
3 Eric Edman 6 Chris Baird
27 Mohamed Diame 5 Brede Hangeland
14 Charles N’Zogbia 27 Jonathan Greening
6 Hendry Thomas 25

Bobby Zamora

7 Paul Scharner 10 Erik Nevland
9 Jason Scotland 16 Damien Duff
20 Hugo Rodallega 23 Clint Dempsey
12 Mike Pollitt 19 Pascal Zuberbuhler
4 Antonio Amaya 2 Stephan Kelly
10 Jason Koumas 26 Chris Smalling
5 Cho Won-Hee 11 Zoltan Gera
15 Jordi Gomez 17 Bjorn Helge Riise
18 Daniel De Ridder 20 Dickson Etuhu
16 Scott Sinclair 34 Kagiso Dikgacoi
13′ Goal Emmerson Boyce    
39′     Goal Clint Dempsey
54′ Yellow Card Erik Edman    
78′ Player Off Erik Edman
Player On Scott Sinclair
79′     Player Off Jonathan Greening
Player On Dickson Etuhu
84′ Yellow Card Dickson Etuhu    
85′     Player Off Erik Nevland
Player On Zoltan Gera
90′     Yellow Card Dickson Etuhu
91′ Player Off Jason Scotland
Player On Jason Koumas