Wigan Rule Britannia to make it seven years in the top-flight
STOKE CITY 0
WIGAN ATHLETIC 1
Report by Paul Chialton
Well we waited two years for back-to-back wins and what a time to record them!
Latics secured their seventh season in the top-flight after a 1-0 victory at the Britannia Stadium - Hugo Rodallega's header ten minutes from time sealing the win that lifted the club from within the relegation zone at the start of the day to 16th place, and survival.
As Andre Marriner blew his whistle after five agonising minutes of added time Roberto Martinez and his staff spilled onto the pitch running towards the 1,400 travelling away fans who filled the Britannia Stadium with passion and noise.
As Chairman Dave Whelan applauded the supporters, the players tossed Martinez up in the air to celebrate a long, at times difficult, but rewarding campaign that has been the most exciting of all rollercoasters.
Climatic wins over Birmingham City, Blackburn Rovers and, of course, West Ham United, not to mention a tremendous point at Anfield and three at White Hart Lane can be looked back on as some of the crucial turning points in Martinez's second term at the helm.
In the end it all came down to a nail-biting final day in which any two of five teams would claim the remaining relegation spots along with West Ham.
Scores from elsewhere in the Premier League were being shouted around the Press Box, and permutations changed from minute to minute, but only one result mattered in the end and after ten long months Wigan Athletic made sure of it.
The nerves were clear heading into the game but the team stood strong against Stoke's heavy early pressure, slowly growing into the game and coming out after half time fired up ready to shift up a gear.
SEVENTH HEAVEN: Hugo heads Wigan into a seventh season in the Barclays Premier League
The moment came on 78 minutes when Ben Watson skipped past two challenges to slip in Maynor Figueroa down the left-wing before the Honduran stood one up to the back-post for Rodallega to power home.
Cue celebrations, cue a tense finish and cue another season in the world's finest league - we can't wait!
Latics: Al Habsi; Boyce, G. Caldwell, Alcaraz, Figueroa; Watson, Diame, McCarthy; N'Zogbia (Moses, 90+3), Rodallega (Di Santo, 86), Sammon (Cleverley, 67)
Subs: Kirkland, Gomez, McArthur, Lopez
Stoke: Begovic; Wilkinson, Shawcross, Collins, Wilson; Pennant, Whelan, Delap, Ehterington (Whithead, 72); Jones (Carew, 78), Walters
Subs: Nash, Pugh, Diao, Tonge, Shotton