Disappointing defeat as Latics go down to Ameobi goal at the DW Stadium
WIGAN ATHLETIC 0
NEWCASTLE UNITED 1
Report by Paul Chialton
Not to start to 2011 Roberto Martinez wanted as Shola Ameobi's first-half strike sealed a 1-0 win for Newcastle United at the DW Stadium.
Pouncing on an Ali Al Habsi
parry the forward poked home from two-yards at the back post after just twenty minutes, and it remained that way for the rest of the evening despite Latics' best efforts.
Tom Cleverley was a threat from the start and himself came close to opening the scoring curling an effort from the edge of the area which Steve Harper did well to push around the post.
But once the away side took the lead Martinez's team found it difficult to get themselves back on level terms.
They came closest on the half-hour mark when Gary Caldwell
met Jordi Gomez
's corner but could only direct his header against the bar with Hugo Rodallega
following it up the rebound but shooting over.
The introduction of James McArthur
at half-time gave Latics more purpose going forward as the midfielder attempted to link up with the attack and ask more of the opposition defence.
A neat through ball to Rodallega looked promising but from an awkward angle the Colombian couldn't trouble Harper.
Newcastle held out for the win and were it not for some good defending and goalkeeping could have doubled their lead late on.
A lot to work on then for Latics ahead of Wednesday night's big derby game with Bolton.
Al Habsi; Stam (McManaman, 84), G. Caldwell, Alcaraz, Gohouri; Thomas (McArthur, 46), Diame; Gomez (Boselli, 59), Watson, Cleverley; RodallegaSubs:
Pollitt, S. Caldwell, Lopez, FigueroaNewcastle:
Harper; Simpson, Coloccini, S. Taylor, Enrique; Barton, Nolan (Smith, 86), Tiote, Gutierrez; Ameobi (Best, 77), Lovenkrands (Routledge, 69)Subs:
Krul, Williamson, Perch, Ranger