IT was a miserable afternoon at the seaside for Wigan Athletic as they went down 1-0 to Blackpool.
Latics were sluggish throughout and struggled to break down their opponents during a game of little quality all round.
Owen Coyle’s men did strike the bar twice in the last 15 minutes but it was too little too late with James McClean sent off in stoppage time. The home side didn’t impress much themselves with Wigan having more possession but the Seasides gained all three points through a Thomas Ince penalty.
Latics were the ones who started brighter but couldn’t muster much when the ball was in the box.
Nick Powell came the closest when he headed Thomas Rogne’s knock back wide before Wigan failed to pounce after a mix-up between Matt Gilks and Craig Cathcart.
As Blackpool started to get into the game, they earned themselves a penalty.
Dan Gosling skipped past Leon Barnett and then Scott Carson, who proceeded to bring him to the ground with the referee quite rightly pointing to the spot. Ince stepped up to put the Seasiders in front.
Wigan struggled to get a grip of the half after the goal, with a number of silly and unforced errors spoiling any chance of an equaliser.
Just as the referee was about to blow the whistle for the break, Jordi Gomez was brought down in a good position giving Ben Watson a great chance to send Latics in with something to smile about. However, the FA Cup hero fired it straight at the wall.
Wigan had the lion’s share of possession in the second half too but were just as unproductive in the final third.
McClean came out of his shell somewhat, putting a number of decent crosses into the box as well as a couple of long range efforts. All of which though failed to produce the elusive goal.
The manager decided action was needed and threw on both Grant Holt and Marc-Antoine Fortune for Powell and Jordi Gomez.
With 15 minutes remaining, Latics started to pick up the pace. Rogne’s header struck the bar before Boyce’s rebound had to be cleared off the line,
Holt was the next to hit the woodwork just minutes later, with the ball falling to the waiting McClean but his strike was fired way over.
Unfortunately though, the pressure didn’t last long.
In fact, if it wasn’t for Scott Carson, the game would certainly have finished 2-0. Blackpool, who had produced little in the second half then had four golden chances to double their lead.
The first came when Ince broke through but saw his effort was superbly palmed wide by the former England international before he produced another great save from Steve Davies.
Ince then had another great chance, only to be denied by Carson and from the resulting corner he bravely clambered for a loose ball and won a free-kick.
Latics’ miserable afternoon was complete when a frustrated McClean was sent off.
After appearing to be stamped on, the winger lashed out angrily and was given his marching orders. Owen Coyle confirmed after the game that he would be appealing the decision.