Leeds suffered their seventh defeat in eight games as Martyn Waghorn's first-half goal gave play-off chasing Wigan victory at the DW Stadium.

Former Leicester man Waghorn rewarded Wigan's first-half dominance with a low finish from the edge of the area.

Leeds improved after the break, with Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi saving from Michael Tonge.

But the home side held out to strengthen their position inside the top six.

A run of just one defeat in all competitions since 11 February has seen Wigan muscle their way into the play-off places and the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

And there was a real belief among the fans at the DW Stadium that the club can make an immediate return to the Premier League this season.

Wigan at the DW

Wigan's last home defeat was 3-1 against Derby in the Championship at the start of December.

For Leeds fans, promotion aspirations have long since given way to hopes of simply surviving.

Leeds' long-term future remains uncertain - although prospective owner Massimo Cellino's successful appeal against a Football League ban on his takeover meant a resolution moved closer on Saturday - while the club's poor league form means fans have started to nervously contemplate the possibility of being dragged into a relegation battle.

They went into the game on the back of six defeats from their previous seven games and hopes of picking up three points from this encounter looked difficult as Wigan dominated possession in the opening 45 minutes, although they struggled to create too many clear cut-chances.

Jordi Gomez fizzed an effort just wide before Nick Powell failed to read the former's defence-splitting ball that would have put the on-loan Manchester United midfielder through on goal.

The breakthrough for Wigan arrived just after the half-hour mark. James McArthur was the architect of the goal as he skipped two challenges on the edge of the Leeds area before poking the ball into the path of Waghorn, whose low shot evaded the reach of goalkeeper Jack Butland.

Leeds were causing Wigan problems in midfield though, with Michael Brown in particular making his presence felt with a number of crunching tackles in an effort to break up play.

Yet for all their hard work in the middle of the pitch, the visitors were struggling to impose themselves in the final third with Ross McCormack, the Championship's top scorer with 27 goals, well marshalled by the Wigan defence.

They improved in the second half and Al Habsi was almost caught out by a Tonge effort, but his shot through a crowd of players lacked pace and the Wigan goalkeeper made the save.

McCormack finally managed to break free of his marker to curl an effort from the edge of the area just wide of goal while Gomez sliced a volley from Marc-Antoine Fortune's cross.

Leeds took control of the closing stages as they pressed hard for an equaliser but Wigan held on to secure victory.

Wigan manager Uwe Rosler:

"Our back three did very well and defended well in the box but we could not take the sting out of the game with our possession play.

"At this stage, though, three points are the important thing. We have shown we can grind out results and that is important.

"We need to take things game by game. Next is Millwall, who are a very good side, and we need to make sure we recover for that game, play the possession game we are capable of and work towards cementing our place in the play-offs."

Leeds manager Brian McDermott:

"The important thing is to stay in the game in this league and we did that, there was nothing between these two sides at all.

"We have not stayed in games recently, so today was an important experience.

"Wigan will be a force to reckon with, but we kept our shape and we have to move on positively for the next game."

Lineup, Bookings (5) & Substitutions (4)

Wigan Athletic

  • 26 Al-Habsi
  • 24 Perch Booked
  • 03 Crainey
  • 30 Kiernan
  • 21 Ramis Booked
  • 17 Boyce
  • 16 McArthur
  • 14 Jordi Gómez Booked
  • 19 Powell (Collison - 55' )
  • 33 Waghorn (Fortuné - 68' )
  • 15 McManaman (McClean - 62' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Carson
  • 10 Maloney
  • 11 McClean
  • 25 Barnett
  • 29 Maynard
  • 32 Fortuné
  • 34 Collison

Leeds United

  • 30 Butland
  • 22 Wootton Booked
  • 15 Warnock
  • 17 Brown Booked
  • 04 Lees
  • 05 Pearce
  • 25 Byram
  • 18 Tonge
  • 44 McCormack
  • 20 Smith
  • 10 Hunt (Poleon - 69' )

Substitutes

  • 06 Murphy
  • 16 Pugh
  • 24 Zaliukas
  • 26 Poleon
  • 28 Stewart
  • 33 Cairns
  • 36 Mowatt
Ref: Neil Swarbrick
Att: 16,443

Match Stats

Shots

10 8

On target

3 1

Corners

2 3

Fouls

7 16

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Wigan Athletic 1, Leeds United 0.

90:00 +4:30 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Wigan Athletic 1, Leeds United 0.

89:29

Attempt missed. Jordi Gómez (Wigan Athletic) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Marc-Antoine Fortuné with a cross.

88:34

Marc-Antoine Fortuné (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick on the right wing.

88:34

Foul by Jason Pearce (Leeds United).

87:47

Iván Ramis (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

87:47

Foul by Matt Smith (Leeds United).

85:47

Attempt missed. Jason Pearce (Leeds United) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Stephen Warnock with a cross following a corner.

85:14

Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by Iván Ramis.

83:42

Attempt missed. Ross McCormack (Leeds United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Matt Smith.

76:18

Attempt missed. Tom Lees (Leeds United) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Ross McCormack with a cross following a set piece situation.

75:23

Dominic Poleon (Leeds United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

75:23

Foul by Iván Ramis (Wigan Athletic).

74:19

Foul by Matt Smith (Leeds United).

74:19

Emmerson Boyce (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick on the right wing.

72:29

Foul by Michael Brown (Leeds United).

72:29

Jordi Gómez (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

68:24 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Leeds United. Dominic Poleon replaces Noel Hunt.

67:01 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Wigan Athletic. Marc-Antoine Fortuné replaces Martyn Waghorn.

66:07

Attempt saved. James McClean (Wigan Athletic) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by James Perch.

63:18

Attempt saved. Michael Tonge (Leeds United) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

61:59

Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by Iván Ramis.

61:32 Booking

Booking Iván Ramis (Wigan Athletic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

61:05 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Wigan Athletic. James McClean replaces Callum McManaman.

60:40

Stephen Warnock (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

60:40

Foul by Iván Ramis (Wigan Athletic).

56:50

Attempt missed. Matt Smith (Leeds United) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Sam Byram with a cross.

55:51

Offside, Wigan Athletic. Stephen Crainey tries a through ball, but Martyn Waghorn is caught offside.

55:05

Attempt missed. Sam Byram (Leeds United) right footed shot from long range on the right is high and wide to the right following a set piece situation.

54:47 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Wigan Athletic. Jack Collison replaces Nick Powell.

54:13

Foul by Nick Powell (Wigan Athletic).

54:13

Jason Pearce (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

53:45

James Perch (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

53:45

Foul by Stephen Warnock (Leeds United).

52:29

Attempt missed. Michael Tonge (Leeds United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Michael Brown.

51:22

Offside, Wigan Athletic. Callum McManaman tries a through ball, but Nick Powell is caught offside.

49:54

Foul by Jordi Gómez (Wigan Athletic).

49:54

Ross McCormack (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

49:13

Attempt missed. Martyn Waghorn (Wigan Athletic) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.

48:17

Martyn Waghorn (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

48:17

Foul by Stephen Warnock (Leeds United).

45:55

Corner, Wigan Athletic. Conceded by Stephen Warnock.

45:52

Attempt blocked. James Perch (Wigan Athletic) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Callum McManaman.

45:00

Second Half begins Wigan Athletic 1, Leeds United 0.

45:00 +3:03 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Wigan Athletic 1, Leeds United 0.

45:00 +2:29

Attempt missed. Jordi Gómez (Wigan Athletic) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Martyn Waghorn following a corner.

45:00 +2:01

Corner, Wigan Athletic. Conceded by Sam Byram.

45:00 +1:09

Jordi Gómez (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick on the left wing.

45:00 +1:09

Foul by Michael Tonge (Leeds United).

44:41

Foul by Ross McCormack (Leeds United).

44:41

Callum McManaman (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

41:50 Booking

Booking Michael Brown (Leeds United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

41:17

Foul by Michael Brown (Leeds United).

41:17

Jordi Gómez (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

36:54

James Perch (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

36:54

Foul by Jason Pearce (Leeds United).

36:14

Foul by Jordi Gómez (Wigan Athletic).

36:14

Michael Tonge (Leeds United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

35:52

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

34:01

Delay in match Michael Brown (Leeds United) because of an injury.

32:11 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Wigan Athletic 1, Leeds United 0. Martyn Waghorn (Wigan Athletic) left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by James McArthur.

31:05

Attempt saved. Nick Powell (Wigan Athletic) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jordi Gómez with a cross.

30:08

Nick Powell (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

30:08

Foul by Michael Brown (Leeds United).

25:08

Offside, Leeds United. Ross McCormack tries a through ball, but Noel Hunt is caught offside.

23:32

Attempt missed. Jordi Gómez (Wigan Athletic) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Martyn Waghorn.

22:33

Stephen Crainey (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

22:33

Foul by Noel Hunt (Leeds United).

21:56 Booking

Booking Jordi Gómez (Wigan Athletic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

21:27

Foul by Jordi Gómez (Wigan Athletic).

21:27

Tom Lees (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

18:50

Jordi Gómez (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

18:50

Foul by Michael Brown (Leeds United).

15:14

Attempt missed. James Perch (Wigan Athletic) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Jordi Gómez with a cross following a set piece situation.

14:42

Emmerson Boyce (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

14:42

Foul by Noel Hunt (Leeds United).

14:34

Attempt missed. Jordi Gómez (Wigan Athletic) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Callum McManaman.

12:57 Booking

Booking Scott Wootton (Leeds United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

12:36

Nick Powell (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

12:36

Foul by Scott Wootton (Leeds United).

11:38

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

11:20

Delay in match (Wigan Athletic).

10:00

Attempt missed. Stephen Warnock (Leeds United) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Sam Byram with a cross.

5:59

Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by Emmerson Boyce.

1:01 Booking

Booking James Perch (Wigan Athletic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

0:34

Stephen Warnock (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

0:34

Foul by James Perch (Wigan Athletic).

0:05

Foul by Matt Smith (Leeds United).

0:05

Martyn Waghorn (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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