There was only going to be one winner in this, but even so Wigan Athletic made hard work of playing against ten men for the majority of the game. A great free kick from Jordi Gomez and a goal for Hugo Rodallega rounded off our total dominance of this game.

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE – DW STADIUM – Saturday 2nd October 2010

Gomez 65
Rodallega 85


Sometimes it is much harder to play against ten men than it against eleven and Latics sure did make a meal of this one. It took until the 65th minute for us to beat Marcus Hannaman in the Wolves net, after Karl Henry was sent off in the 11th minute.

The win was no more than we deserved as yet again our opposition was prepared to stick 10 men at the back and hope for the best. This plan went out of the window though as in the 11th minute Karl Henry sithed Jordi Gomez and it is a wonder that the Spaniard actually got up from the challenge.

It was all one way traffic after that and Latics came close to going ahead on several occasions only for great acrobatics and woeful shooting. Maynor Figueroa started the lesson in how not to shoot as he sent his effort high over the bar with 15 minutes on the clock.

Charles N’Zogbia had a shot blocked by Mancienne moments later and Gomez fired the rebound just wide of the post. Wolves then dug in and restricted us to passing the ball around in midfield, but N’Zogbia and the hard working McCarthy were starting to make headway.

Seven minutes from half time Hugo Rodallega had a rare burst of energy, taking on two defenders before skying his shot over the bar. Stephen Fletcher was eventually booked after nailing at least five of our players, how he managed to stay on the pitch is beyond me.

The referee rounded the half off by booking Hendry Thomas, probably for the nose bleed he must have suffered when he made it to the Wolves 18 yards line, shot, then fell over on one of the visitors players.

Martinez must hate the half time talks as it must be like ground hog day, dominating games but not having the clinical final touch. This was evident yet again just seconds after the restart as Franco Di Santo gave Hannaman a double save when it was easier to score.

The Wolves stopper was on hand again just minutes later as James McCarthy started to run the midfield. He cleverly jinked his way to a shooting position only for us to settle for a corner.

We had adopted a 4-4-2 formation now and it was certainly getting us chances, both Di Santo and N’Zogbia were coming close, the atmosphere round the ground had started to get a bit edgy and the players were seeming to be running out of ideas.

Hugo looked to be getting a bit more interested now and he another shot blocked just after McCarthy had been denied after a great run and cross from N’Zogbia. It was another N’Zogbia charge that led to a free kick on the edge of the area.

It looked like it was inside the box from where I was sat, but as Jordi Gomez belted the ball into the back of the net anyway, I will give the ref the benefit of the doubt. It was a beautifully shot free kick which gave Hannaman absolutely no chance.

The tension seemed to disappear then and we knocked the ball around freely, which was quite annoying as we all wanted that second goal to put it safe. Wolves did though manage to get through on goal, Doyle was one on one with Al Habsi, but he the keeper pulled off a fine save and Doyle was 5 yards off side anyway.

We had several chances that did go begging, Di Santo and McCarthy seemed to be at the centre of it all with back up from N’Zogbia and at times Hugo. Di Santo nearly scored a goal of the season contender from 30 yards, but Hannaman yet again pulled off a fine save.

Rodallega did manage to see the game off though, just after Mick McCarthy threw the kitchen sink on. N’Zogbia fed the Colombian through and just as he was about to pull the trigger the sliding tackle from Berra rebounded off his foot and past the keeper.

Apart from a couple of tame efforts from Hugo and Jordi the game was done, up to 11th for a couple of hours, but most importantly getting three points from a team that we should be beating. As confidence grows so hopefully will the performances, we saw glimpses of us making huge strides today… roll on the Toon and Bolton.

Cockney Latic Man of the Match: James McCarthy
Referee: Lee Mason (Bolton, Lancashire)
Attendance: 14,042
26 Ali Al Habsi 1 Marcus Hahnemann
17 Emmerson Boyce 6 Jody Craddock
3 Antolin Alcaraz 16 Christophe Berra
2 Steve Gohouri 32 Kevin Foley
31 Maynor Figueroa 21 Michael Mancienne
6 Hendry Thomas 8 Karl Henry
10 Charles N’Zogbia 4 David Edwards
4 James McCarthy 17

Matthew Jarvis

14 Jordi Gomez 29 Kevin Doyle
7 Franco Di Santo 11 Stephen Ward
20 Hugo Rodallega 10 Steven Fletcher
1 Chris Kirkland 13 Wayne Hennessey
13 Steven Caldwell 2 Jelle Van Damme
23 Ronnie Stam 5 Richard Stearman
8 Ben Watson 3 George Elokobi
21 Mohamed Diame 14 David Jones
11 Victor Moses 27 Marcus Bent
9 Mauro Boselli 9 Sylvan Ebanks-Blake
11′     Red Card Karl Henry
41′     Yellow Card Stephen Fletcher
44′ Yellow Card Hendry Thomas    
52′     Player Off Stephen Fletcher
Player On George Elokobi
59′ Player Off Maynor Figueroa
Player On Ronnie Stam
65′ Goal Jordi Gomez    
73′ Player Off Hendry Thomas
Player On Mohamed Diame
82′     Player Off Stephen Ward
Player On Sylvan Ebanks-Blake
82′     Player Off David Edwards
Player On Marcus Bent
84′ Player Off Franco Di Santo
Player On Ben Watson
85′ Goal Hugo Rodallega    
90′     Yellow Card Christophe Berra

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