Defeat again for Latics after confident, dominating performance
WIGAN ATHLETIC 0
Report by Iain McMullen
Latics fell to another disappointing loss at the DW Stadium today after going down 2-0 to a resilient Fulham side.
The defeat leaves Roberto Martinez's men still searching for their first points since August and was a disappointing end to a game they had performed well in for large periods.
The Spaniard made no changes to the starting line-up that fell to an undeserved defeat at Newcastle United last week but Franco Di Santo returned with a place on the bench, coming in for the injured James McCarthy.
The visitors also named the same side that lost last week's encounter to Everton after conceding two late goals.
There were few chances of note in the opening ten minutes of the encounter as both sides took time to settle into the game.
Andy Johnson looked dangerous down the right flank for Fulham but could find no way past a solid Latics' backline, visibly strengthened by the return of Antolin Alcaraz in recent weeks.
Despite the slightly sluggish start, Latics soon began to lift the pace of their game with David Jones going close on two occasions before the half-hour mark.
Jones grew in confidence as the game went on and was an influential figure in the middle of the pitch.
Latics suffered a blow soon after as Mohamed Diame was forced out of the action following a heavy challenge, to be replaced by James McArthur.
The game almost saw it's first goal in the 30th minute when a mazy Maynor Figueroa run finished with Schwarzer just tipping a dipping Ben Watson volley over the bar.
The resulting corner saw an unmarked Gary Caldwell head just over from six-yards out.
Albert Crusat was a constant threat down the left wing as Victor Moses and Emmerson Boyce combined well down the opposite flank.
Despite the home side's dominance, it was somewhat predictable that the visitors were the team who broke the deadlock.
Bobby Zamora latched onto a lofted pass that caught Latics on the counter-attack and Clint Dempsey put the finishing touches on the move when he calming stroked the ball past a stranded Ali Al Habsi.
The second half started brightly for Latics with Crusat and Moses looking dangerous for the home side.
Moses almost grabbed the elusive equaliser in the 55th minute when his sublime 30-yard effort beat Scwharzer only to cannon off the inside of the post and across the goalmouth to safety.
Latics continued to push forward but found a resolute Fulham side in front of them, determined to preserve their lead.
The final ten minutes saw Figueroa hit the outside of the post as Latics luck deserted them and the agony was compounded with minutes remaining as Fulham caught them on the counter-attack yet again.
Figueroa's misplaced pass was picked up by Mousa Dembele who went on to beat Al Habsi from the edge of the Latics penalty area.
There was no way back for Martinez's men and they must now regroup for the trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers next weekend.
Latics: Al Habsi, Alcaraz, Caldwell, Crusat (Di Santo, 63), Watson, Moses, Boyce (Stam, 69), Jones, Rodallega, Diame (McArthur, 12), Figueroa
Unused Subs: Pollitt, Stam, Maloney, Sammon, Gomez
Fulham: Schwarzer, Riise, Sidwell, Hangeland, Baird, Johnson, Murphy (Etuhu, 69), Dempsey, Zamora (Ruiz, 80), Grygera, Dembele (Duff, 90)
Unused Subs: Etheridge, Kelly, Kasami, Briggs.