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Wigan v Rams - Report

Wigan Athletic
2 - 0
Derby County

JJB Stadium


Attendance: 20,176


Rams a rabble in defeat

The Rams left the JJB Stadium on Saturday with the words of manager Paul Jewel still ring in their ears.

Jewell returned to his former club for the first time since he quit in May after six-years in charge. But he was left fuming with the performance of his side as second half goals from Paul Scharner and Antonio Valencia gave Wigan all three points.

Scharner pounced on the hour mark to turn the ball in at the far post after Emile Heskey's close-range effort was parried by Derby keeper Roy Carroll.

Valencia then wrapped up the points six minutes from time, crashing a shot into the roof of the net from six-yards.

The result moves Wigan up three places to 14th while Derby remains bottom, and they have now gone a club record 21 league matches without a win and are heading ever closer to the Championship.

It was the Rams who managed the first effort on goal after six minutes, Stephen Pearson firing straight at Wigan keeper Chris Kirkland from the edge of the box.

Wigan responded with Mario Melchiot delivering a perfect in-swinging cross to Kevin Kilbane, but the midfielder headed straight at Carroll who gathered the ball at the second attempt.

The game, which was never a classic by any stretch of the imagination, was dominated by the home side, with the Rams thankful for Carroll, Alan Stubbs and a fair share of luck.

Melchiot was denied a 25th minute opener when Giles Barnes cleared the defender's close-range back-heel from of the line. Wigan players believed it was over the line and TV replays showed it was very close.

Then a through ball from Emile Heskey sent Marlon King clear but the assistant referee flagged for offside, again replay`s showed he was onside.

It was a dismal performance from the Rams, especially after a number of encouraging games. But they are still without a win on their travels this season and with Latic`s keeper Chris Kirkland a spectator for most of the game, they offered little threat at all, much to the disappointment of another large travelling contingent.

But the Rams stubborn resistance lasted for an hour, until Scharner scored his fifth goal of the season.
Carroll made a fine double save to palm out Heskey's header and then tip away the striker's follow-up but the ball rebounded of Craig Fagan into the path of Scharner and Carroll could do nothing about his far-post effort.

Melchiot was close to making it two in the 80th minute as his header from a Kilbane corner flashed wide, before Valencia sealed Wigan's second successive home win.

A late volley from Australian international Mile Sterjovski, which flashed just wide of the right hand upright, was as good as it got for the Rams.

Wigan: Kirkland, Melchiot, Boyce, Scharner, Edman (Koumas 90), Valencia, Brown, Palacios, Kilbane, Heskey (Bent 90), King (Sibierski 85).
Subs Not Used: Pollitt, Bramble.

Derby: Carroll, Leacock (Todd 46), Stubbs, Moore, McEveley, Fagan, Ghaly (Sterjovski 62), Savage, Pearson (Villa 57), Barnes, Miller.
Subs Not Used: Price, Lewis.

Att: 20,176

Referre: Alan Wiley (Staffordshire).

Star Player

Rams Man of the Match
Alan Stubbs
- Another solid performance from the big defender.

Manager Rating

After Match Coaches Comments
Derby boss Paul Jewell

'I'm embarrassed at the way we played. I can accept losing but not like that, it was a disgrace.

'Some players are not worthy of being here and the sooner we can get them out the better.

'We've got to do some wheeling and dealing to get this team back in the Premier League.'

Opponent Rating

Wigan boss Steve Bruce:

'The mentality was good, but it was never going to be easy on this pitch.

'We made hard work of it and needed a break but once we got the first goal we were comfortable.

'It's going to be tense now for everyone down the bottom but thankfully I've got some experienced players here who've been down there before.'

Writer:Peter Simcox
Date:Monday February 25 2008
Time: 7:35AM

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# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Burnley 46 26 15 5 93 37
P Middlesbrough 46 26 11 9 89 32
3 Brighton 46 24 17 5 89 30
4 Hull City 46 24 11 11 83 34
5 Derby County 46 21 15 10 78 23
6 Sheff Wed 46 19 17 10 74 21
7 Ipswich 46 18 15 13 69 2
8 Cardiff 46 17 17 12 68 5
9 Brentford 46 19 8 19 65 5
10 Birmingham 46 16 15 15 63 4
11 Preston 46 15 17 14 62 0
12 Q.P.R. 46 14 18 14 60 0
13 Leeds Utd 46 14 17 15 59 -8
14 Wolves 46 14 16 16 58 -5
15 Blackburn 46 13 16 17 55 0
16 Forest 46 13 16 17 55 -4
17 Reading 46 13 13 20 52 -7
18 Bristol City 46 13 13 20 52 -17
19 Huddersfield 46 13 12 21 51 -11
20 Fulham 46 12 15 19 51 -13
21 Rotherham 46 13 10 23 49 -18
R Charlton 46 9 13 24 40 -40
R MK Dons 46 9 12 25 39 -30
R Bolton 46 5 15 26 30 -40
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