REPORT: Wigan Athletic 0 Derby County 1: Tics slip to third defeat in quick succession

Callum Lang can't find a way through the Derby defenceCallum Lang can't find a way through the Derby defence
Callum Lang can't find a way through the Derby defence
Wigan Athletic fell to a third defeat in the space of 10 days as Derby County won by the only goal at the DW.

Derby dominated right from the off and only a magnificent save at full stretch from Sam Tickle kept out a header from James Collins, with the Young England goalkeeper also smothering the rebound.

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Tickle's heart was in his mouth moments later when an inswinging free-kick from Conor Hourihane drifted all the way over from the right channel and only inches beyond the far post, with no Derby attacker managing to get a vital touch.

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But the Rams did take the lead on 19 minutes when Tickle couldn't collect a deep cross, and Stephen Humphrys' attempt to carry the ball away saw him stripped by Tom Barkhuizen.

The winger sent the ball immediately back into the danger zone, and an unmarked Curtis Nelson nodded home.

Derby thought they had a second goal shortly after, when Craig Forsyth's shot almost ripped a hole in the net, only for the referee to award Wigan a free-kick for a foul on Baba Adeeko.

Wigan had another massive let-off on the stroke of half-time, when a mistake from Sean Clare played in Collins, who found himself clean through on goal.

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Tickle, however, raced off his line and made another crucial save.

Derby almost doubled their lead within seconds of the restart only for Barkhuizen to fire into the side netting.

Barkhuizen's next effort was heading for the roof of the net before being tipped over the bar by an increasingly overworked Tickle.

Opposite number Joe Wildsmith was then called into the game for the first time when he blocked a volley from Humphrys at point-blank range.

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Substitute Callum McManaman then cut in off the left only to find the side-netting, but the visitors were able to see out the rest of the game with relatively little to worry about.

Having now played exactly half of their 46 league games, Latics lie in 19th position with 23 points – four clear of the drop zone ahead of Friday’s visit of rock-bottom Carlisle.

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