Match Report: Wigan Athletic 2 Barnsley 0

Barnsley's Lewin Nyatanga and Wigan's James McClean (right) battle for the ball
Barnsley's Lewin Nyatanga and Wigan's James McClean (right) battle for the ball
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Barnsley slumped to a 2-0 defeat at play-off hopefuls Wigan Athletic in what was a game of two contrasting halves at the DW Stadium.

Nicky Maynard and Martyn Waghorn won the game for the Latics during a first half in which the hosts were very dominant.

Barnsley's Peter Ramage.

Barnsley's Peter Ramage.

After the break, though, Barnsley came out fighting and will feel unlucky not to have got themselves on the score sheet. It wasn’t to be though and Barnsley are a point and a place off the bottom of the Championship - with relegation snapping at their heels.

The Reds had to withstand most of the first-half pressure with the hosts happy to get the ball on the ground and use the wings to cause trouble.

They couldn’t muster up much at goal early on though and it was Barnsley who had the first real chance of the game.

Chris O’Grady showed some neat footwork on the edge of the box to play in Tom Kennedy, who whipped in a neat ball to Nick Proschwitz, but the Hull loanee’s header was just inches over the bar.

Barnsley's Brek Shea challenges James MCarthur

Barnsley's Brek Shea challenges James MCarthur

The DW Stadium then fell silent after a dangerous-looking collision between Martin Woods and Wigan’s Ben Watson.

The pair innocently challenged for a free ball on the edge of the area before an almighty crash left them both in pain of the floor.

Fortunately Woods got to his feet.

But for the Latics’ FA Cup final hero Watson a stretcher was needed as he left the pitch on oxygen with a standing ovation from all four sides of the ground.

After the break in play, Wigan started the brighter and Nicky Maynard almost pounced on a weak back-pass from Dale Jennings. The striker managed to get a slight touch but Luke Steele did well to get out and pounce on the ball.

Wigan continued to press and Jean Beausejour, who caused full-back Ryan McLaughlin plenty of problems down Barnsley’s, put in a teasing ball that evaded the Latics attack before Kennedy did well to get back and clear.

The Reds did find themselves behind with 10 minutes of the half to play. Beausejour continued to do well down the left to put in a ball for Maynard who poked home from close range.

With just two minutes left, Barnsley were 2-0 down. McLaughlin struggled again down the right, this time while dealing with James McClean, and couldn’t prevent him crossing to Waghorn who added the host’s second.

Barnsley tried to pull one back just before the break but Jim O’Brien’s effort from the edge of the box was straight at the ‘keeper.

Danny Wilson made two half-time substitutions, bringing on Lewin Nyatanga and Brek Shea for O’Grady and McLaughlin.

The Reds were much-improved and came close when Woods fired over the bar from the edge of the area.

Barnsley continued to dominate and had a great chance from a free-kick shortly after the hour-mark. James Perch, who should have been booked for an earlier challenge, entered the book after a dangerous tackle on Nyatanga on the edge of the area. O’Brien drilled in a fierce free-kick that was fumbled before falling to Shea but Ali Al Habsi had it covered.

The Reds then had another chance when Shea was brought down 25 yards out. Frimpong struck a sweet free-kick into the area but it was deflected over with Barnsley failing to create anything from the corner.

Barnsley continued to rally and Jennings put a superb cross in for Proschwitz but the ball was just taken away from his feet.

Jennings then had a chance himself after a superb ball from Kennedy but his header was just wide.

The Reds fired more forward with Wigan having to cut out a number of decent crosses before Shea and Proschwitz both blazed over as the game edged away from the South Yorkshiremen.