Date: 1st September 2018 at 8:24pm
Written by:

Wigan Athletic 1 Rotherham United 0
Vaughan (73)

Rotherham United came away from the DW Stadium with nothing this afternoon with a James Vaughan goal on seventy-three minutes giving Wigan Athletic a home win.

The first ten minutes of the game was a bit scrappy with the only real thing to note was a yellow card for Jon Taylor for a dubious foul on Antonee Robinson the following free kick saved by Marek Rodak in the Millers goal. A cross in from Ryan Williams on the ten minute mark found Michael Smith but his shot was easily saved by Wigan ‘keeper Christian Walton. Robinson then got behind the visiting defence to send a shot in which saw Sean Raggett stretch to put out for a corner and in doing so, after treatment on the pitch, limped off to be replaced by Clark Robinson. Joe Mattock had to be aware when Callum Connolly was allowed too much space and stopped him getting a shot away from close range. At the other end some good running from skipper Richard Wood saw Ryan Manning find him with a free-kick but Walton claimed the ball. Just before the half-hour mark a Josh Windass free-kick cleared the wall but went just wide of the upright and minutes later the same player got on the end of a Nick Powell cross but again saw his shot go wide. This was followed by some lovely football from Reece James saw him send the ball to Windass who again nobody was picking up and would surely have scored if he’d got a touch on it. Ryan Williams was the next Rotherham player to receive a yellow for fouling James while on the stroke of half-time the third yellow of the game, also to a Millers player, was to Richard Wood who was adjudged to have fouled Will Grigg with the free-kick going wide. In time added on a Manning corner found Mattock at the far post who headed it back into the middle but Wigan were equal to it followed by a Will Vaulks long throw finding the head of Semi Ajayi who put the ball well wide. With the half coming to a close Vaulks found Smith who in turn found Manning some thirty yards out who sent a shot into the box which Walton got down to. A Wigan free-kick taken by Lee Evans went into the crowded penalty area with Rodak on hand to watch it go round the post to finish the half.

Just two minutes into the second half Wigan nearly opened the scoring when Will Grigg found himself one-on-one with Clark Robertson and sent a curling shot in which Marek Rodak was happy to see go just wide. Minutes later some super work from Jon Taylor down the wing saw him get the ball into the box towards Michael Smith but Christian Walton got to it first to claim. A late challenge on Ryan Manning earned Sam Morsy a yellow card with the following free-kick ending in an off-side decision. Jon Taylor was replaced by Kyle Vassell for the Millers while Wigan made a double substitution bringing on Callum McManaman and James Vaughan for Nick Powell and Will Grigg. A good shot from Callum Connolly was saved by Rodak before Rodak was also in action saving from substitute Morsy. A corner for the Millers saw the ball fall to Will Vaulks who saw his shot end up among the Millers fans behind the net before the same player had a shot in the box blocked by the home defence. Vassell saw a shot blocked before a Manning corner found the head of Robertson with Christian Walton getting down well to save. With sixteen minutes left of the ninety McManaman left his marker for dead and when his shot just inside the box was pushed away by Rodak amongst a ruck of players Vaughan was there to put the ball into the net and give the hosts the lead. At the other end the Millers came close to an equaliser and when a Vassell shot wasn’t cleared properly it found Williams at the edge of the box and with the Millers fans up ready to cheer his shot was well saved by the Wigan ‘keeper. Jamie Proctor came on for the Millers replacing Richard Wood which was followed by a cross into the box by Vassell being kamikaze cleared by Cedric Kipre who put just over his own net. Kipre’s next action was to get a yellow card after tripping up Manning. Some good work from Williams saw him get round the back of the Wigan defence and although his centre was a good one nobody could put it away and it ended back at the feet of Williams who saw his shot blocked. The last few minutes was all the Millers and Vassell and Manning were causing problems while Robertson put a header over the bar and Vassell saw a shot cleared. With five minutes of time added on just going up on the board Wigan made another sub bringing on Joe Garner for Josh Windass. Still looking for that equaliser as the clock ticked down Manning beat a couple of defenders and got it to the edge of the box when Proctor seemed to tackle his own player and both went down in a heap.

The Millers did have efforts but were thwarted either by themselves or by the Wigan defence this afternoon. The Millers played much too deep in the first half and didn’t look comfortable at all and were better in the second half but, if I’m being honest, didn’t look a patch on what they looked on Wednesday at nearby Goodison Park.

Crowd – 9,584 (677 Millers)

Referee – Scott Duncan (who, if we were giving him marks out of ten would be lucky to even score)

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