Dundee 1 Wigan Athletic 0

Reece James in action against Dundee
Reece James in action against Dundee

WIGAN, with their second game in the space of just a few days, went down to Rory Loy’s second-half winner as they ended their Scottish tour in defeat in this pre-season friendly at Dens Park.

Gary Cakldwell’s side, who are bidding to win promotion back to the Championship after experiencing the pain of relegation last season, missed a first-half penalty through Will Grigg.

But they still experienced a worthwhile run-out against decent Scottish opposition whose competitive season begins in earnest next weekend.

Loy, a summer signing, struck the winner in 70 minutes to sink Gary Caldwell’s English League One side who had contributed to a largely entertaining 90 minutes as far as friendlies go.

While their hosts were busy making changes, Caldwell decided there to rest striker Billy McKay who had been the subject of two recent bids by nearby Dundee United to try and lure him across the road to Tannadice.

Wigan had drawn 1-1 at Partick Thistle earlier in the week and had a golden opportunity to go ahead in 20 Minutes.

Irvine was penalised for a shove on Grigg and referee Matt Northcroft pointed straight to the spot.

Grigg stepped up but the Northern Ireland international forward was too casual and made the mistake of leaning back as he hit his spot-kick high over Mitchell’s bar.

At the other end, Gary Harkins worked his magic by weaving his way past several Wigan challenges only for his final shot from the edge of the penalty area to come crashing back off visiting centre-half Andrew Taylor who did his job by standing firm.

Just after the half-hour mark, Wigan’s Craig Davies had a half-chance but his left-foot shot from inside the box was blocked by James McPake as the visitors enjoyed a period of pressure.

Then, in 35 minutes, Harkins ran onto Stewart’s weighted pass and his powerful low shot fizzed just wide of Wigan keeper Richard O’Donnell’s left-hand post.

Wigan attempted to lift things after the break and came close to making the breakthrough early in the second-half.

Grigg’s in-swinging corner was met by trialist Kevin McNaughton, recently released by Cardiff City, who rose unchallenged to power a downward header towards goal, only for Mitchell to pull off a fine diving save low to his right. Midway through the second-half, McKay made an appearance for Wigan and soon after the ex-Inverness ace came within inches of notching the opener.

A surging run down the right by their trialist substitute saw him cross for McKay who narrowly missed providing the killer touch, before substitute Sanmi Odelusi also failed to connect at the far post as the chance went abegging.

But Dundee took the lead in 70 minutes through Loy

Stewart did the donkey work down the left before cutting back for Loy to stab the ball past helpless O’Donnell from six-yards.

To their credit, Wigan never gave up towards the end with several more substitutes being used but it was Dundee who were happy to hold out for this hard-fought victory.