Pennant powers Wigan to victory

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 1:27

Pennant powers Wigan to victory

The win was Malky Mackay’s side’s fourth straight away victory and gives them a glimmer of hope ahead of the end-of-season run in.
Pennant set the ball rolling in the 31st minute when he curled a free-kick into the top left corner from 20 yards before finding the other side of Adam Collin’s net from an almost identical position with another set piece five minutes later.
The Millers pulled one back on the brink of half-time when Matt Derbyshire headed in from close range after excellent work from Ben Pringle on the right wing.
Rotherham went into the clash boosted by the return of midfielder Paul Green, who missed last weekend’s 2-0 victory over Huddersfield through injury.
And it was Green who provided the game’s first chance in the opening minute when he charged down the left flank before delivering a dangerous cross towards the far post, but Gaetan Bong was on hand to turn it behind for a corner.
Green had two further chances in the early stages of the game but could not find the target with either of his efforts.
The Latics were awarded a free-kick on the edge of Rotherham’s penalty area in the 30th minute when James McClean was brought down.
Former Liverpool winger Pennant fired the resulting set piece over the wall and into the back of Collin’s net to give the visitors the lead.
Less than five minutes later, Wigan won another free-kick in the same part of the field when Marc-Antoine Fortune was upended.
Once again, Pennant’s effort cleared the wall but this time it landed in the opposite corner of Collin’s net, sparking an almighty roar from the away supporters as they saw their team take a two-goal lead.
Wigan grew in confidence after Pennant’s second goal and threatened to run away with it, before the hosts were handed a lifeline in the second minute of added time when Pringle’s deep cross was headed in at the back post by Derbyshire.
Rotherham came out fighting in the second half, with dangerous crosses from Jack Hunt and Conor Sammon testing Wigan’s defence within 15 minutes of the re-start.
The home side continued to enjoy the lion’s share of possession as the second period wore on and went close when Pringle’s 70th-minute free-kick was touched on by Kari Arnason in the penalty area, but Ali Al-Habsi was able to gather it.
Collin had to stretch to keep out a deflected effort in the 86th minute before Rotherham almost grabbed a share of the spoils two minutes later when substitute Jordan Bowery sent a header towards goal from close range, only to be denied by a top-class save by Al-Habsi.

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