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18:19 13th May 2012

Narrow Defeat Ends Three Year Spell

Wigan Athletic 3 (Boyce 12, Boyce 14, 79)

Wolves 2 (Jarvis 9, Fletcher 86)

Wolves ended their three year stay in Premier League with a narrow defeat at the DW Stadium after Wigan had come from behind to move into a 3-1 lead before substitute Steven Fletcher bagged a late goal - his 12th of the season.

For his final game in charge, Terry Connor made two changes. Sylvan Ebanks-Blake replaced Fletcher in attack and Matt Jarvis returned in place of the injured Michael Kightly.

Wigan won a corner after just 13 seconds. It was taken by Jean Beausejour and cleared by Christophe Berra in front of the 2,500 Wolves supporters that had made the trip north.

Before the game started the PA announcer had asked the crowd to celebrate Wigan's surviving for an eighth consecutive Premier League season by applauding as the match reached the eighth minute mark. This they did but the noise was soon quelled as Jarvis hit a beauty to give Wanderers the lead.

Stephen Ward slipped a short pass to the winger who cut inside the left of the Wigan area before gliding the ball beyond Ali Al Habsi into the far side of the net.

Unfortunately, the home fans were soon singing again as Wigan drew level in the 12th minute. Stephen Hunt lost possession to James McCarthy and although he was crowded out by two defenders, the ball broke to Franco Di Santo whose low shot went through a tangle of legs and past the flatfooted Dorus De Vries.

After the Dutch keeper had made a diving save to keep out Shaun Maloney's 25-yard shot on the run, he was beaten again as Emmerson Boyce rose to head powerfully into the net from Beausejour's corner from the left.

There was a chance for Kevin Doyle when the ball ran to him after Adrian Lopez's heavy challenge on Hunt. Seeing the advantage, the referee waved play on but Doyle's goalbound shot was blocked by Gary Caldwell. Lopez was spoken to by the referee but not booked.

Richard Stearman was not so lucky three minutes later when he saw yellow for a clumsy challenge on Maloney which was no worse than that of Lopez.

Hunt couldn't reach a Beausejour pass and the former Birmingham man regained possession and sprinted into the box. He tried to find the unmarked Di Santo at the far post but Berra got back to turn the ball behind.

Beausejour took a short corner to Maloney and when the ball wasn't cleared James McArthur tried a shot that took a deflection and ran to Victor Moses whose shot on the turn was deflected narrowly over. Ward needed treatment before the corner could be taken.

Right on half-time Lopez was booked for tripping Ward.

Half-Time: Wigan 2 Wolves 1

Jarvis's touch was too strong and the ball ran through to Al Habsi after a moment's slackness in the home defence shortly after the restart.

Then Maloney released Beausejour on the left. He took the ball to the bye-line and sent in a low cross through the six-yard box. Di Santos failed to get a touch and when the ball ran through to Moses he fired well wide of the far post.

In the 51st minute, De Vries limped off to be replaced by Carl Ikeme and further substitutions took place in the minutes that followed with Wigan's Albert Crusat replacing Moses and, for Wolves, Anthony Forde went on in place of Hunt.

On the hour mark Berra was harshly penalised for a push on Di Danto to the left of the Wolves box. Maloney pulled the free-kick back into the path of Beausejour on the edge of the box but he hooked the ball straight at Ikeme.

The keeper, who was making his first appearance of the season, then saved a shot on the turn from Di Santo whilst, at the other end, Ebanks-Blake headed over after a cross from Jarvis.

Berra went into the book after Di Santo appeared to run into him and then, midway through the half, Jarvis's free-kick found the head of Doyle but Al Habsi blocked at his near post.

Ikeme made a good save after Crusat had played Maloney in, and Crusat then fired into the side netting after Di Santo had picked him out in the left of the area.

Fletcher replaced Ebanks-Blake for the final quarter of an hour and then Hugo Rodallega went on in place of Di Santo. The Columbian had been on for a matter of seconds when he nodded the ball down for Boyce to volley Wigan's third past Ikeme.

In the 86th minute Fletcher slotted home a consolation goal. Dave Edwards won a tackle on the edge of the box and then, when he challenged Al Habsi, the ball rolled to the Scottish striker who fired home from the 18-yard line.

In the time that remained, Wolves piled forward in search of an equaliser but there was no joy and it took a good save from Ikeme to prevent a fourth for The Latics.

Wigan: Al Habsi, McCarthy, Caldwell (capt), Di Santo (Rodallega 78), Maloney (Gomez 82), Moses (Crusat 58), McArthur, Boyce, Beausejour, Lopez, Figueroa.

Unused subs: Pollitt, Watson, Sammon, Diame.

Bookings: Lopez (45 - foul)

Wolves: De Vries (Ikeme 51), Zubar, Ward, Edwards, Berra, Stearman, Jarvis, Henry (capt), Ebanks-Blake (Fletcher 75), Doyle, Hunt (Rhodes 59).

Unused subs: Elokobi, Johnson, Milijaš, Jonsson.

Bookings: Stearman (19 - foul), Berra (64 - foul).

Referee: M. Oliver.

Attendance: 21,986.

    Data provided by Press Association


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.