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Match Report


Posted Sun 13 Apr 03 at 19:27 PM


Brentford returned from Wigan pointless but the result did not reflect The Bees endeavour in Lancashire.

Bees boss Wally Downes dropped Rowan Vine from the starting line-up, Kevin O'Connor taking the striking berth. Jamie Fullarton was rewarded for his substitutes performance against Cheltenham with a place in central midfield.

Brentford's first shot came with two minutes gone, but Stephen Hunt blazed over Dobson's through ball. Four minutes later, Hunt turned villain, as he was disposed; Nathan Ellington fired in a shot that Bees' keeper Paul Smith did well to cling onto. In the ninth minute, Michael Dobson blasted the ball forward to Hunt; who delivered the perfect cross for Antoine-Curier. However, the Frenchman failed to convert. This nearly cost the Bees dear as Wigan broke away seconds later but Gary Teale stroked the ball wide with only Smith to beat.

Martin Rowlands was replaced after suffering a leg injury in the thirteenth minute, so his replacement Rowan Vine moved upfront with O'Connor dropping back into midfield. Ten minutes later, Latics' winger Andy Liddell didn't make the most of Teale's cross with Roget and Dobson floundering, putting the ball into the side netting. In the 36th minute, Stephen Hunt forced Filan into saving his shot, Vine the provider. Two minutes later Neil Roberts should have given Wigan the lead but blasted the ball over the bar unmarked from twelve yards out, again Teale the provider.

Wigan stepped up a gear, forcing a flurry of corners. Ibrahima Sonko went into Mr Jones notebook for a foul on Liddle. On the stroke of half-time, Smith denied Ellington, tipping over the striker's fierce shot from well outside the box.

Four minutes after the break, Leo Roget was pedantically booked by Mr Jones for time-wasting at a Bees throw-in, the big centre-half nearly got his revenge with a right foot shot that narrowly missed the target moments afterwards. In the 54th minute, Ellington lost his footing at the vital moment; Bullard's deflected shot fizzed past him on the edge of the six yard box. Two minutes later, Wigan took the lead.

Jamie Fullarton's pass went astray, landing straight to the feet of Andy Liddle. His cross met Nathan Ellington, and The Latics' top scorer found the gap between Smith and the post with a shot from outside the area, with Roget claiming offside.

With sixteen minutes remaining, slack play from Matt Somner nearly cost The Bees dear with a poor back-pass to Paul Smith, but having intercepted, Teale could not convert. Sixty seconds later a neat combination from Hunt and Stephen Evans in the Latics' penalty area led to the latter firing into the side netting, receiving a hefty challenge by Filan for his endeavours.

Neil Roberts went close from a Teale cross with six minutes left but the final action was reserved for Latics' substitute Lee McCulloch doubling their lead on the stroke of full-time, his shot beating Smith after Ellington had teased the Brentford defence inside the area.

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