REPORT: Gillingham 1 Wigan Athletic 0

Wigan Athletic remain rooted in the League One relegation mire - with only eight games now to go - after unluckily going down 1-0 at play-off chasing Gillingham last night.

Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 7:38 pm
Funso Ojo in action at Gillingham

Leam Richardson's visitors - boosted by their long-awaited takeover - took the game to the hosts and had several chances to get on the scoresheet.

But Jamie Proctor blazed the best of them over at the beginning of the second period from bang in front.

And Gillingham made the most of the let-off by scoring what proved to be the only goal from Vadaine Oliver in the last 15 minutes .

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Latics being Latics, there was even time for another hard-luck story, with Callum Lang heading against the bar before the referee's full-time whistle.

It was a golden opportunity to move out of the drop zone ahead of the rest of the Good Friday programme missed.

And they must sit back now and see how much long-term damage has been done by this result.

Richardson's men had begun promisingly, against a side looking for a win to lift them into the play-offs.

Dangerman Lang couldn't get enough on his shot, though, and it barely reached the goalie.

Defender Curtis Tilt, up for a set-piece, then came within inches of finding the top corner with an inspired swing of his right foot.

Latics had a slight scare when George Johnston sold Jamie Jones a bit short with his backpass, allowing Oliver to race in.

Thankfully, Jones was off his line in a flash and saved well with his feet.

At the other end, the space then opened up for Lang, but this time he dragged his shot wide of the mark.

It was a feisty, miggly game for the most part, and the referee had to go over and calm tempers in the technical area after one difference of opinion.

Gills boss Steve Evans did enough to earn himself a yellow card, which did little to diffuse the situation.

Latics raised their game at the start of the second period, and were asking some serious questions of their opponents.

Right-back Tendayi Darikwa weaved his way into the box, and saw his shot parried away by the goalkeeper.

The rebound fell to Proctor, but the striker could only lash the rebound over.

Lang then fired inches wide of the far post, with the goalkeeper not getting there, before Latics created - and wasted - a gilt-edged opportunity at the three-quarter mark.

Again it was Lang doing all the donkey work through the right channel, before laying the ball off unselfishly to Proctor.

But from 12 yards out, and the whole of the goal to aim at, the on-loan Rotherham man leaned back and somehow skied the ball over the target.

There was a sickening sense of inevitability about what was to follow, and it arrived with 14 minutes to go.

Ryan Jackson sent over a deep cross from the right wing, and big Oliver rose highest to power home a header past Jones into the corner of the net.

That was the signal for Latics to go all in, with Joe Dodoo, Will Keane and Dan Gardner taking over from Proctor, Thelo Aasgaard and Viv Solomon-Otabor.

And Latics came inches away from levelling within four minutes, when Lee Evans' corner was met by the head of Lang, only for the ball to glance off the bar before being hacked to safety.

Dodoo then did well to release fellow replacement Gardner, who could only send the ball harmlessly over the top.

But in looking for a late equaliser, Latics were almost caught on the break right at the death, with Jones doing well to parry away Oliver's goalbound header.

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