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17:24 27th February 2010


Latics haunted by poor refereeing decisions

Birmingham City . . . . . . . . . . 1
James McFadden (pen 45')

Wigan Athletic . . . . . . . . . . . . 0

James McFadden's penalty on the stroke of half-time was enough to seal a win for Birmingham against a Latics side blighted by poor refereeing decisions.

After three or four replays of Mario Melchiot's challenge on Keith Fahey inside the area it was hard to determine what the right decision was, but alas it went against Roberto Martinez's men and McFadden stepped up to cooly slot into the bottom right corner.

It was a tough blow for Latics who had since done well defensively to keep Birmingham at bay and keep the scores level.

Scott Dann had threatened to put the home side ahead earlier but his header from Sebastian Larsson's free-kick bounced back off the cross-bar and was eventually cleared.

But, as has been an all too often problem, Latics just didn't create enough going forward to get something out of the game.

Hugo Rodallega had the better of the chances first fed through by James McCarthy only to see his shot bounce of Joe Hart's shoulder and out for a corner. Then, moments later, he found a few yards space in the area, but without realising the time he had took on an audacious overhead kick, when controlling and taking the ball down would have been the better option.

It just wasn't to be Latics' day, a feeling confirmed on 75-minutes when Liam Ridgewell flew in dangerously on McCarthy, leaving the youngster on the floor and in a great deal of pain, and the linesman needing attention after the corner flag struck the official.

The fact that the referee didn't even caution Ridgewell left a bitter taste in the mouth and summed up, not just the afternoon, but the last few weeks for Martinez.

So a tough game for Latics who'll need to pick themselves on and continue the fight against Liverpool next Monday.

Birmingham: Hart, Carr (Gardenr 83), Johnson, Dann, Bowyer, Ridgewell, Larsson, Jerome (Michel 90), Ferguson, McFadden (Phillips 64), Fahey.
Subs: Taylor, Phillips, Benitez, Michel, Parnaby, Vignal, Garner.

Wigan: Kirkland, Melchiot, Caldwell, Bramble, Figueroa, N'Zogbia (Moses 45), McCarthy (Gomez 83), Diame, Thomas, Scharner (Scotland 45), Rodallega.
Subs: Stojkovic, Boyce, Gomez, Scotland, Moreno, Sinclair, Moses

Referee: A. Taylor
Assistants: T. Massey & P. Sharp
4th Official: S. Bennett

Attendance: 25,921 (652 away)
    Data provided by Press Association