Derby vs Wigan match report: James McClean breaches Derby’s defences

Derby 1 Wigan 2

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The Independent Football

Second-half goals by James McClean ended Derby County’s unbeaten home record as Wigan came from behind to register a first win in nine matches, although Steve McClaren’s side remain top of the Championship on goal difference.

Substitute McClean’s first goal 10 minutes after half-time ended Derby’s attempt to complete a club record seven consecutive clean sheets, although they did go an impressive 10 hours and 44 minutes without conceding a goal.

Derby took the lead in stoppage time in the first half, moments after Jack Butland made a superb penalty save. The England goalkeeper, on loan from Stoke as cover for the injured Lee Grant, flung himself low to his right to keep out James Tavernier’s kick after what looked like a harsh handball judgment against Derby midfielder John Eustace

The save inspired the home side, who had been second best to Wigan, and went ahead with the last action of the opening period. Johnny Russell, who had been Derby’s brightest attacker, delivered a free kick from the right, Zak Whitbread helped it on with a flick of the head and Eustace arrived at the far post to convert.

It was a deflating moment for Wigan, who had seen an earlier penalty appeal turned down, with Callum McManaman booked for simulation, before Butland stuck out a leg to deny McManaman in what had been Wigan’s best chance before the penalty.

Although wins have eluded Uwe Rösler’s team lately, they arrived here unbeaten in four matches and their second half response underlined their resilience, with McClean turning home Roger Espinoza’s cross before sliding home the winner seven minutes from time after Butland had saved from Adam Forshaw and Marc-Antoine Fortuné.