Nathan Broadhead on target as Wigan get back to winning ways against Blackburn
Nathan Broadhead’s 62nd-minute goal was enough to give Wigan Athletic their first home victory of the Sky Bet Championship season against north-west neighbours Blackburn Rovers.
Wigan had come into the game on the back of defeats against Hull and Cardiff, but always looked the more likely side to edge a tight encounter at the DW Stadium.
The home fans were in good voice from the off, which gave their side impetus to attack Blackburn, who in contrast started very slowly.
A Max Power free-kick from the right was met by the head of Tom Naylor at the near post, but the ball was always wide of goal.
Lovely footwork from Broadhead saw the on-loan Everton man advance into the box with time and space to shoot. However, his effort was well saved by Thomas Kaminski at the expense of a corner
Naylor then shot just wide of goal before Will Keane fired straight at Kaminski despite having support from Broadhead and Charlie Wyke.
At the other end, Rovers were struggling to get anything going. A shot from Ben Brereton-Diaz, which flew wide of the far post, was their only real sight of the Wigan goal.
Blackburn’s unease was shown at the break, when Callum Brittain and Tyrhys Dolan were readied to replace Sammie Szmodics and Ryan Hedges.
They were soon joined on the field by Sam Gallagher, for George Hirst, within seven minutes of the restart.
And it was no surprise when Wigan took the lead, thanks largely to a mistake in the Rovers defence.
Scott Wharton gift-wrapped possession in his own box to Keane, whose initial shot was saved by Kamiski at point-blank range. The ball fell to Broadhead, who stabbed home from six yards to the delight of most inside the stadium.
That was his last involvement, with Thelo Aasgaard replacing him at the three-quarter mark.
And Aasgaard was quickly into the game, heading over a cross from Tendayi Darikwa, who then fired wide after good work from Power and Jason Kerr.
Rovers were still struggling to get going, with Brereton-Diaz finding himself unmarked at the back post, only to fire wide of the target.
Bradley Dack was sent on for the final eight minutes, with Ashley Fletcher and Josh Magennis giving Wigan fresh legs up top.
The result means a continuation of Rovers’ remarkable sequence of results which has now seen them win seven and lose seven of their 14 matches.