Championship
WiganWigan Athletic2PrestonPreston North End0

Wigan Athletic 2-0 Preston North End: Leon Clarke & Lee Evans goals seal Latics' survival

Ledson has been sent off twice this season
Referee Andrew Madley shows the red card to Preston's Ryan Ledson for a foul on Wigan's Kal Naismith

Goals from Leon Clarke and Lee Evans were enough to secure Championship survival for Wigan Athletic and end Preston North End's faint hopes of making the play-offs.

Clarke fired the Latics into an early lead at the DW Stadium with a close-range finish and midfielder Evans sealed victory with his first goal since rejoining the club 20 minutes from time.

Preston gave their hosts some anxious moments despite being reduced to 10 men after Ryan Ledson received a straight red card late in the first half.

But victory for Paul Cook's side - their second of the Easter weekend - lifted them to 18th place in the table and ensured they will play second-tier football again next season.

Preston made the better start, but they fell behind in the 11th minute when their defence made a hash of Antonee Robinson's cross and Kal Naismith teed up Clarke for a tap-in.

Naismith went close to extending the Latics' advantage soon afterwards, glancing Nathan Byrne's cross past the post, while Gavin Massey burst through only to scuff his chance wide.

The visitors' hopes of a fightback were dented 10 minutes before the break when Ledson was sent off for the second time this season, following a high challenge on Naismith.

But North End dominated at the start of the second half and Paul Gallagher forced a flying save from Christian Walton.

However, Evans eased his side's nerves when he collected a cross from the left and rifled into the roof of the net, with the help of a deflection off Preston defender Jordan Storey.

Wigan manager Paul Cook:

"In the lowest moments we all thought about possibly getting relegated, but football is a long, long season, and you have to stay the pace.

"League tables don't tell lies, everyone finishes where they deserve to finish, and we're delighted to be staying up.

"I'm so pleased for the players and the staff, because those are the ones who've had to pick themselves up from the lowest moments.

"I thought we responded well at the right time, and I'm sure the Wigan fans are proud of their side tonight."

Preston manager Alex Neil told BBC Lancashire:

"Ryan makes a rash decision by flinging his boot in and gets sent off and from that point it makes it really difficult for us.

"It's happened too often this season, if we're going to challenge for the top six. I think that's happened six times now this season and we've still got two to play, so hopefully nobody gets sent off in them.

"I've got to work with 10 men again and, to be honest, we're the makers of our own downfall at times."

Line-ups

Wigan

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Walton
  • 2Byrne
  • 22Dunkley
  • 6Fox
  • 3Robinson
  • 12James
  • 5MorsyBooked at 44mins
  • 11MasseySubstituted forPowellat 45'minutes
  • 36Evans
  • 20NaismithSubstituted forRobertsat 67'minutes
  • 28ClarkeSubstituted forGarnerat 84'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Gibson
  • 10Windass
  • 18Roberts
  • 25Powell
  • 30Olsson
  • 40Evans
  • 41Garner

Preston

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Rudd
  • 15Rafferty
  • 14Storey
  • 6Davies
  • 2Fisher
  • 18LedsonBooked at 34mins
  • 11Johnson
  • 45NmechaBooked at 13minsSubstituted forGinnellyat 77'minutes
  • 7Robinson
  • 12Gallagher
  • 24MaguireBooked at 76minsSubstituted forMoultat 77'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Earl
  • 9Moult
  • 17Ginnelly
  • 20Stockley
  • 23Huntington
  • 25Ripley
  • 32O'Reilly
Referee:
Andy Madley
Attendance:
12,496

Match Stats

Home TeamWiganAway TeamPreston
Possession
Home44%
Away56%
Shots
Home14
Away12
Shots on Target
Home5
Away1
Corners
Home2
Away8
Fouls
Home12
Away8

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Wigan Athletic 2, Preston North End 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Wigan Athletic 2, Preston North End 0.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Wigan Athletic. Conceded by Declan Rudd.

  4. Post update

    Attempt saved. Nick Powell (Wigan Athletic) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Joe Garner.

  5. Post update

    Attempt saved. Nick Powell (Wigan Athletic) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Louis Moult (Preston North End).

  7. Post update

    Cheyenne Dunkley (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Louis Moult (Preston North End) right footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Ben Davies.

  9. Post update

    Louis Moult (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Cheyenne Dunkley (Wigan Athletic).

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Wigan Athletic. Joe Garner replaces Leon Clarke.

  12. Post update

    Callum Robinson (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Gary Roberts (Wigan Athletic).

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Leon Clarke (Wigan Athletic) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Leon Clarke (Wigan Athletic) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right misses to the right. Assisted by Lee Evans.

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Lee Evans (Wigan Athletic) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Reece James.

  17. Post update

    Corner, Wigan Athletic. Conceded by Joseph Rafferty.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Preston North End. Louis Moult replaces Sean Maguire.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Preston North End. Josh Ginnelly replaces Lukas Nmecha.

  20. Booking

    Sean Maguire (Preston North End) is shown the yellow card.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Norwich442513689553488
2Sheff Utd442510974393585
3Leeds442571270462482
4West Brom4422111184582677
5Aston Villa442015980582275
6Derby4318131263521167
7Middlesbrough441813134539667
8Bristol City431812135649766
9Sheff Wed441615135657-163
10Swansea43188176057362
11Nottm Forest441515145954560
12Preston441612166461360
13Hull44179186365-260
14Blackburn441611176165-459
15Brentford4415131669591058
16Stoke441120134350-753
17Birmingham441417136357650
18Wigan441212204963-1448
19QPR44139225169-1848
20Reading441016184864-1646
21Millwall431013204761-1443
22Rotherham44816205079-2940
23Bolton4488282976-4732
24Ipswich44416243373-4028
View full Championship table

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