Date: 5th May 2007 at 9:08pm
Written by:

Today`s game at the JJB was one that the Latics simply had to win.

Paul Jewell made several changes from the starting line-up against West Ham last week and the defence had a new look about it with Boyce and Scharner at centre half and Ryan Taylor brought in at right back.

In the opening 20 minutes the Latics had Boro on the back foot, though only created one real chance with Lee McCulloch grazing the bar with a header.

Middlesbrough, who hadn`t created a chance, took the lead on 29 minutes.

Stuart Downing took a free kick from the right 22 yards out; as he ran up he slipped and spooned the ball into the air.

Mark Viduka reacted quickly and slotted home from close range to put Boro in front.

There was little more goal mouth action in a first half that referee Mark Clattenburg added on an extra 6 minutes.

The Latics, although having most of the possession, rarely threatened as the game wore on.

They lacked real quality and didn`t force Schwarzer into any meaningful saves.

Ryan Taylor came closest to scoring for the Latics with a free kick from 30 yards that sizzled inches wide.

In the dying moments Pollitt came up for a corner, but it was too little too late.

Latics need to go to Sheffield United next week and win to have any hope of remaining in the Premiership for another season.

Teams

Wigan Athletic:

Mike Pollitt, Leighton Baines (David Unsworth), Emmerson Boyce, Paul Scharner, Ryan Taylor, Denny Landzaat (David Cotterill), Josip Skoko, Luis Antonio Valencia, Julius Aghahowa (Caleb Folan), Emile Heskey, Lee McCulloch

Middlesbrough:

Mark Schwarzer, Julio Arca, Andrew Davies, Emanuel Pogatetz, Andrew Taylor, Jonathan Woodgate, George Boateng (Lee Cattermole), Stewart Downing, Fabio Rochemback, Dong-Gook Lee (Adam Johnson), Mark Viduka (Jason Euell)

Attendance 21,204

Latics Man of the match Emile Heskey

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