Watford 2 Wigan Athletic 1

Chris McCann celebrates his equaliser

Chris McCann celebrates his equaliser

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TROY Deeney bagged a brace as Wigan Athletic slipped to a 2-1 defeat at promotion-chasing Watford.

The in-form striker was signed by Malky Mackay during his time as Hornets manager, and he ensured his old gaffer is still seeking his first win as Latics boss.

Watford went ahead on the 20-minute mark, when Deeney took delivery of a neat ball from Ikechi Anya before drilling the ball past Scott Carson.

It was no more than the home side deserved, with Latics struggling to get going in the opening half an hour.

But the last 15 minutes of the half belonged to the visitors, who deservedly levelled on the stroke of half-time when James McClean’s corner was headed home emphatically by Chris McCann.

Latics picked up where they left off and bossed the opening half-hour of the second period, with Ben Watson and McClean coming close to putting their side ahead.

But the home side finished the stronger and regained their lead with 10 minutes remaining when Deeney headed past Carson from close range.

Latics, who had been playing without a recognised striker - McClean being supported up top by Don Cowie - sent on Andy Delort for the final five minutes, but they were unable to grab themselves a late lifeline to remain deep in the mire.

FOR THE FULL MATCH REPORT, PICTURES AND REACTION, SEE MONDAY’S WIGAN EVENING POST