Date: 12th September 2009 at 6:30pm
Written by: Baskerville

Latics secured their first home win of the season in the late summer sunshine with a second half Rodallega strike.

Martinez opted to make two changes from the starting line up that lost to a late goal against Everton two weeks ago, replacing Pollitt and Scharner, with the returning Kirkland and Koumas.

Positional wise this meant a welcome return to leading the forward line for Hugo and he repaid Martinez’s faith in him with another winning goal.

Once again a Hugo Rodallega strike earned Wigan a vital win,however this time the goal was far more basic than his wonder strike against Villa.

Latics started the brighter with wboth wingers Kopumas and N’Zogbia pressing forward and providing good quality crosses for the more forward players. Latics failed to trouble Green though early on and the first real piece of excitment came when the lively Hines, who was by far and away West Hams’ best player appeared to be fouled on the edge of the Wigan penalty area. Whilst it looked to be outside the area, it was certainly a good shout for a free kick.

Latics were forced to shoot from distance with Go( twice) and Rodallega testing the England keeper Green .

Most of the play in the first half was centred in the middle third of the pitch and with five men on either side occupying this area it was always going to be a war of attrition. Thomas and to a lesser extent Diame, more than held their own against more illustrious opposition and nullified West Ham’s attempts at a passing game.

Kirkland was forced itno a couple of saves which he dealt with comfortable, in fact the most pressure he was put under came from dealing with back passes from his own players. Twice he struggled to clear the ball. the first time the ball hitting the challenging Hines and luckily for WIgan bouncign wide.

Nil apiece at half time was a fair scoreline but Wigan were about ten seconds form going in one nil down.
West Ham broke and Cole slotted the ball into the Wigan net but Mr Wiley had blown the whistle for half time before the shot came in.

The second half started much the same as the first with any clear cut chances few and far between with Koumas looking the most dangerous player on the pitch for Wigan.

The gaol when it came followed a good passage of paly from Wigan.
Melchiot broke from defence on the right and N’Zogbia crossed , there was indecison in the Hammer’s defence and Koumas not only to see Green block the shot well. Rodallega made no mistake with the rebound, burying the ball in the net.

Latics seemed content then to sit back and let the relatively toothless West Ham come at Wigan. The Hammers looked most dangerous at set pieces and twice Tomkins rose unmarked from corners to head wide.

Latics brought Scharner and Scotland on for the tiring Kouams and Rodallega and with West Ham pushing forward for the equiliser, this allowed Latics to try and catch West Ham on the break.

Latics created three good chances all of which fell to Scotland, two he fluffed completely and the third he lacked the confidence to go for goal passing sideways and the move broke down.

Latics defended well with everything West Ham threw at them, with once again Bramble at the heart of everything.

The final whistle brought shouts and cheers of relief, for a much improved performance but most importantly three points.

Player Ratings

Chirs Kirkland…5/10
A couple of good saves but had several cases of the ‘nervous nellies’ with back passes and coming off his line.

Looked very static at set pieces

Mario Melchiot…7/10
Super Mario lived up to his name, looked excellent goign forward.

Maynor Figueroa…6/10
Tired late on after only arriving home late yesterday. Had one good goal scoring chance with a header.

Titus Bramble…8,.5/10
Cool, calm, collected and class.

Emerson Boyce…8/10
One senior momnet but otherwise another competant performance fromt he unsung hero of the Latics team

Momo Diame…6.5 /10
Defended well but looked limited going forwards. Still not P.L. fit but that will come

Hendry Thomas…7/10
Getting better game by game.

Jason Koumas…7.5/10
Every pass was class. Created several good chances but no one in the area tio finish them off

Charles N’Zogbia…7.5/10
Pacy and created loads of problems for the West Ham defence

Jordi Gomez…5/10
Looks off the pace and his reaction time when in possesion appeared poor. Tested Green with two fierce shots.

Hugo Rodallega…7.5/10
Took his goal well but starved of forward support limited his chances

Paul Scharner…6/10
Looked more comfortable in centre midfield than I have seen him in the past.

Jason Scotland…5/10
Three good chances and wasted all three. Doesn’t look good enough for this level of football
Wsan’t on the pitch long enough to have any impact

Manager Rating

Bobis slowing moulding the team in his own image. Midfield don’t look like scoring which is a worry with the forward limitations and we need an attacking midfielder to push forward and support Hugo.


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