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Wigan Athletic (1) 1 - 0 (0) Ipswich Town

Coca-Cola Championship 2004-05

Saturday, March 5, 2005

Referee: G Laws

Manager: Paul Jewell

JJB Stadium 15:00

Attendance: 16,744

Manager: Joe Royle

Match Number: 3098

Goals

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 Ellington (43)
Away
 

Substitutions

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JacksonWright (40)
KavanaghJarrett (69)
TealeGraham (82)

Cards

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 Kavanagh 
 McCulloch 
 Roberts 
Away
 

Teams

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Filan

Eaden

Breckin

Jackson

Baines

Teale

Bullard

Kavanagh

McCulloch

Roberts

Ellington

Substitutes

Home

Walsh

Johansson

Wright

Graham

Jarrett

Match Report

Wigan's strike force outgun Ipswich

Ipswich knew they would be up against the Championship's crack striking partnership yesterday. What could they do to stifle the prodigious gifts of Jason Roberts and Nathan Ellington? Absolutely nothing. The former was magnificent and the latter scored the winner from a penalty. Barring injury to either, Wigan should happily ride this tandem into the Premiership.

There was no doubting the significance of this fixture in the promotion race. While both clubs still have 10 games to play, the psychological edge is now clearly with Paul Jewell's side after such a dominant performance.

A crowd of 16,744 at the JJB stadium certainly sensed the occasion and Wigan responded by breezing past a curiously flat Ipswich team to regain top spot in the league. No, this was certainly an event and despite the freezing conditions the crowd were even 'treated' to the ridiculous cavorting of a streaker. The Roberts-Ellington axis was quickly into action, Roberts carrying the ball cleverly into the penalty area before squaring for Ellington, who mis-hit his shot from eight yards.

With 12 minutes played, Wigan looked certain to score. Right back Nicky Eaden's long pass sent Ellington sprinting free down the inside-right channel with Roberts for company and the Ipswich defence in his wake.

Ellington opted to shoot instead of squaring to his strike partner and collapsed in shame when his effort went wide of the far post. Roberts was giving the Ipswich defence an afternoon's hard graft. His power and balance allowed him to bustle through on 25 minutes, but his attempt came back off the post. Jimmy Bullard inexplicably sliced the rebound over from close range.

Wigan finally scored just before half-time, and the identities of the leading protagonists brought no surprise. Roberts slipped in Ellington on the edge of the box with a fine pass and Fabian Wilnis sent the Wigan striker tumbling. From the subsequent penalty, Ellington waited for Kelvin Davis to dive and stroked the ball gently in.

Joe Royle's side were neater in the second-half, but still failed to make constructive progress into the Wigan box. The hosts were still hungry. First Roberts spun his marker before shooting high and wide, then Bullard's drive was parried well by a diving Davis, before Ellington curled just beyond the far post.

With reinforcements arriving in Lancashire - Graham Kavanagh joined from Cardiff in time to make his debut in midfield, Reading striker Nicky Forster is reportedly on his way - Wigan look convincing. Ipswich, however, must fear trial by play-off.

Eddie Johnson (sport.telegraph)

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