Date:Sunday February 23 2014
22/2/14 - 3pm
The play off battle between Brighton and Wigan, both looking to force themselves into the reckoning to finish in the top six, ended with Albion losing a rare game at the Amex and seeing our chances dented.
A fifth win in six Championship games saw them leapfrog us after the 2-1 win to enhance their own chances.
Having missed an opportunity to open his Albion account, which David Rodriguez would be disappointed with after his poor finish only Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi prevented us from taking the lead this time when he saved from Leo Ulloa.
Another one that was guilty of missing a great chance, and missing the chance to open his Albion account in the process, was Dale Stephens as he made good enough contact with Stephen Ward's cross but didn't put this header on target when unmarked and unchallenged.
The pressure continued with Al Habsi thwarting Gordon Greer before Wigan took the lead.
Matthew Upson, usually such a rock in the heart of the defence, was guilty of an error that aided Wigan's goal. James McArthur went through with Tomasz Kuszczak unable to prevent the first real opportunity that Wigan had from giving them the lead.
Again set up by Ward this time Stephens did better as an instant reply was also seen, but his shot came back off the underside of the bar. Fortunately for Albion some poor finishing at the other end from Martyn Waghorn prevented the lead from being doubled before half time.
Wigan already had another opportunity to extend their lead early in the second half before the second did come within five minutes of the second half getting underway. Defensive organisation was perhaps to blame again with Albion caught out by a set piece that was headed in by Chris McCann.
Ulloa has been the one, and only really, goal threat in recent games and it was always likely to be him that could bring us back into the game but from a set piece of our own he headed a corner by Andrea Orlandi over.
Orlandi himself and Rodriguez again missed chances, and they were being created but not being taken like Wigan's were. David Lopez also failed to hit the target.
A certainty was that, unlike the previous five league wins we'd secured, this wasn't going to be '1-0 to the Albion' again but just getting back into the game to get anything was the main aim but time was drifting away.
Kaz LuaLua and Jonathan Obika came on to add extra pace and firepower, adding to the earlier addition of Will Buckley, as we desperately tried to get back into the game.
This way back came when Ulloa scored his fourth goal in as many games, and his 10th of the season, when he made no mistake from close range putting the finishing touches to Orlandi's corner that was headed back across goal by Upson.
Albion pushed hard to get an equaliser but this couldn't be found with Al Habsi knocked away a dangerous Buckley delivery and saved from fellow sub Obika as a rare defeat, at such a bad time in the season, was felt.
Date:Sunday February 23 2014
|3. Derby County||18||10||6||2||+15||36|
|4. Hull City||18||10||5||3||+16||35|
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