Result: Rotherham United 1 Wigan Athletic 2 Millers six-points above drop zone despite Wigan defeat

Millers hit back:  Matt Derbyshire fires the ball past Gaeten Bong
Millers hit back: Matt Derbyshire fires the ball past Gaeten Bong
0
Have your say

And so the gap becomes six ...

Wigan held on in the face of second-half pressure from Rotherham United to edge the Championship survival clash at AESSEAL New York Stadium.

Substitute Jordan Bowery looked certain to score an 87th-minute equaliser but Ali Al Habsi produced a stunning stop to keep out the striker’s header and then saved Bowery’s follow-up shot on the line.

The visitors, occupying the third and final relegation spot, kept their season alive with their fourth away win on the trot and now lie six points behind the Millers.

Rotherham pressed throughout the second half but clear-cut chances were hard to come by.

In the first half, two moments of Premier League quality gave Wigan a 2-1 interval lead in controversial circumstances.

Former Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant struck twice in five minutes with free-kicks on the edge of the area.

Wigan striker James McLean looked to have dived as Kirk Broadfoot challenged, but referee James Linnington gave a free-kick which Pennant duly despatched in the 31st minute to Adam Collin’s right.

Rotherham players protested long and hard about the decision but to no avail.

In the 36th minute from a similar position Pennant guided one into the other side of the net to give the visitors a telling advantage in this Championship survival scrap.

Midfielder Paul Green missed a golden chance to put the Millers back in the game in the 44th minute, firing just over after a superb run into the box by right-back Jack Hunt.

But deep into time added on Matt Derbyshire headed home Ben Pringle’s cross to reduce the arrears.

Rotherham United (4-2-3-1): Collin; Hunt, Rawson, Broadfoot, Lafferty; Smallwood (Newton 87), Arnason; Sammon (Bowery 74), Green (Hammill 54), Pringle; Derbyshire. Subs not used: Thompson, Milsom, Richardson, Morgan.

Wigan Athletic (4-4-2): Al Habsi; Boyce, Maguire, Pearce, Bong; Pennant (Cowie 76), Bo-Kyung, Perch, Ojo (Kvist, 62); McLean, Fortune. Subs not used: Nicholls, McCann, McKay, Barnett, Waghorn.

Referee: James Linnington (Isle of Wight).