Final Score: Wigan Athletic 3 Doncaster Rovers 0

John Marquis will likely have had troubling sleeping on Tuesday night. And he will probably have a few more restless nights for the rest of the week.

Tuesday, 21st November 2017, 9:01 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 8:05 am
Doncasters John Marquis : a howler.

The striker will be haunted by a horrendous miss in the defeat to Wigan Athletic that proved tremendously costly.

In such games, against such accomplished opposition, taking chances is more important than usual.

Even more so for a side that has struggled for goals in recent matches.

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With Rovers having fallen behind moments earlier when Michael Jacobs netted for the hosts, Marquis took his eye off the ball when presented with a golden opportunity inside the six yard box.

He missed.

Moments later, on the stroke of half time, Ryan Colclough did not and the game was effectively over.

Rovers were presented with a mountain to climb and that became all the more steep when Colclough scored again on 58 minutes.

A run of five matches unbeaten was over.

If only Marquis had scored.

If only.

Rovers - starting with the same side for the third consecutive game - had done well for the first 40 minutes, albeit spending plenty of that time on the back foot.

Wigan showed early just exactly how they wanted to control the game, dominating possession in the opposition half and forcing Rovers deeper and deeper.

They targeted the wide areas, looking to double up on Rovers’ wing backs for the overlap and send crosses into the box.

And they were also excellent at switching play, moving the ball superbly down a corridor around 30 yards from goal.

Yet for all this, Rovers stood up to it rather well.

There were a few last ditch blocks and stretches in desperate bids to cut out crosses but in the main, they looked resolute inside their own box - as they have done so impressively recently.

And after surviving a high pressure opening 15 minutes, they began to see some of the ball themselves.

It was moved quickly and smartly up the pitch to not only relieve pressure but show that Rovers had a chance to do something in the game themselves.

Wigan continued to create chances with Max Power seeing a shot blocked well by Mathieu Baudry while Lee Evans stung Ian Lawlor’s hands with a 20-yard drive.

Hurting Rovers was the fact Marquis was somewhat isolated in attack when Rovers were forced deep, making it very difficult to clear the lines and keep them cleared.

Wigan finally made their pressure tell four minutes from the break.

Jacobs played a fine one-two with Evans before lashing a low shot from 20 yards which flew past Lawlor.

Then came Marquis’ horror miss.

Baudry looped a header from James Coppinger’s high cross and it dropped sweetly for the striker, five yards out. But his connection with the volley was terrible, allowing Jamie Jones to claim far too easily.

And it was a miss quickly rued as Wigan doubled the lead in the final minute of the half with Colclough strolling through the defence before striking a low shot which deflected over the helpless Lawlor.

Darren Ferguson sent on Andy Williams at the start of the second half, switching from 3-4-3 to a 4-4-2 diamond designed to give Rovers more presence.

While they did enjoy some early success, the game was effectively ended 13 minutes into the second period when Wigan added a third.

Jacobs was given all the time in the world to pick out Colclough who executed a fine diving header which Lawlor failed to keep out despite getting a hand to it.

Williams’ appearance lasted 18 minutes as an injury forced him off while Alfie Beestin was given time off the bench.

The game was pretty much done and dusted with Wigan enjoying a relative stroll over the final 30 minutes.

The closest Rovers came to adding a consolation was when Marquis was released but sliced well wide from ten yards.

It was not his night.

Wigan: Jones; Byrne, Dunkley, Burn, James; Evans (Toney 85), Morsy; Colclough (Massey 60), Power, Jacobs (Perkins 76); Grigg. Subs not used: Sarkic, Bruce, Roberts, Hunt.

Rovers: Lawlor; Wright, Butler, Baudry (Williams 46, Whiteman 63); Blair, Kongolo, Houghton, Toffolo; Coppinger (Beestin 61), Marquis, Rowe. Subs not used: Marosi, Mason, Garratt, Ben Khemis.

Referee: Carl Boyeson (E Yorkshire)

Attendance: 7,106 (356 away)