West Brom player ratings gallery v Wigan: Three score 8/10 but one gets 5/10 in narrow victory

Player ratings from West Brom 1-0 Wigan Athletic in the Championship – including three 8/10 scores but one 5/10.

West Bromwich Albion soared back into the top 10 of the Championship with a narrow 1-0 victory over a relegation-threatened Wigan Athletic at The Hawthorns on Tuesday evening. Daryl Dike’s first half rebound was enough to secure all three points but Albion were at far from their best on the night, squandering plenty of opportunities. On another evening against tougher opposition, The Baggies would likely not be claiming such a win. With Wigan unable to create much of their own opportunities, however, Albion were able to do just that and they move closer to the play-off spots with a vital result.

It was a nothing first quarter of an hour as neither side were able to create any opportunities of note, with much of the ball being played around the back. Albion looked uninspiring in possession and didn’t press high enough, allowing Wigan to just about edge it in the opening stages. There was finally a chance when the clock struck the 17th minute, however, as Marc Albrighton spotted Conor Townsend on the overlap and the left-back found some space, cutting it back to Jayson Molumby in the penalty area. The former Brighton man had a brilliant opportunity to score but he was unable to get it out of his feet, completing miscuing a first-time effort wide of the post.

This chance going begging brought West Brom into life, with more deliveries being thrust into the box and an increase in urgency. It wasn’t long before The Baggies turned the momentum into the first goal of the night as Marc Albrighton zipped a great pass into the feet of Daryl Dike, who held off Omar Rekik well and played in Molumby on the left byline. The Irishman, making up for his earlier attempt, forced Ben Amos into a save but the Wigan goalkeeper didn’t get enough of a connection on the ball as it dropped back onto the crossbar. Dike was in the right place at the right time to nod in the rebound for his sixth goal of the season.

Just a few minutes later, Dike so nearly had a second with an audacious effort as Molumby played a wonderful delivery into the area. Albion’s number 12 controlled the ball on his thigh, flicked the ball over a Wigan defender’s head and volleyed at goal but Amos was there to stop it going across the line – just about. Carlos Corberan’s side had yet another huge opportunity squandered moments on, as John Swift’s 30-yard free-kick wide on the right was swung in with pace and Dara O’Shea was first to meet a bouncing ball. The skipper couldn’t quite keep his header down as it went sailing over the crossbar.

West Brom’s dominance continued into the second period as Townsend had a chance after just three minutes. Cut back to the defender on the edge of the box by Jed Wallace, albeit via a deflection, Townsend took a touch and struck at goal, but his low and powerful effort was stopped by Amos. The Latics goalkeeper made yet another impressive save a few minutes later to deny Wallace’s tight-angled strike by tapping it onto the post. Chances dried up somewhat for a while after Albion’s woodwork hit, with Corberan turning to the bench to bring on Nathaniel Chalobah to solidify things even more defensively. Molumby, who had a busy evening, was the man to make way.

The visitors finally had their first chance of the game just before the 70th-minute mark, much to the amusement of their traveling support who let out a sarcastic cheer in the away end. Ashley Fletcher broke free on the right-hand side and floated in a lovely cross to Josh Magennis, but the substitute was unable to direct his header goalwards. West Brom goalkeeper Josh Griffiths was called into action for the first time on the night in the 73rd minute as Thelo Aasgaard’s snap shot from the edge of the area was struck low. The youngster got across well to dive and get a strong right glove to it, keeping the score at 1-0.

With around half a dozen to go, John Swift became the second Albion player to hit the woodwork as his 15-yard strike came back off the crossbar. The Baggies were nearly made to regret yet another missed chance in added time as Tom Pearce forced Griffiths into a brilliant save, striking a loose ball with power on the half-volley. Quite the let off for Albion, this, with the visitors so dangerous at the end. Here are our West Brom player ratings from the clash.

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