Ormerod at the double to move Wigan step nearer

Leicester City 0 - Wigan Athletic 2
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The Independent Football

On the day when results elsewhere meant Wigan Athletic were guaranteed at least a place in the Championship play-offs, they moved a step closer to automatic promotion with a straightforward victory over Leicester City.

On the day when results elsewhere meant Wigan Athletic were guaranteed at least a place in the Championship play-offs, they moved a step closer to automatic promotion with a straightforward victory over Leicester City.

Brett Ormerod's first goals for the club since joining on loan from Southampton - although the opener did strike Nikos Dabizas on its way in - both originated from the set-piece delivery of the outstanding Graham Kavanagh.

Ormerod's performance fully justified the decision of Paul Jewell, Wigan's manager, to leave the 23-goal leading scorer, Nathan Ellington, on the substitutes' bench. For another few hours at least, with the leaders, Sunderland, travelling to Ipswich today, Wigan lie second, just two points behind the Wearside club.

"It was a big decision for me to leave Nathan out," said Jewell. "I just thought he was looking a bit jaded, and Brett was champing at the bit.

"That was our best performance in recent times and now our fate is back in our own hands again," he said.

Wigan took the lead mid-way through the first half. Kavanagh's free-kick was met by Patrick McCarthy, who headed the ball against Ormerod. Despite a deflection off Nikos Dabizas' shoulder, there was enough pace on the ball to beat Ian Walker.

Even if the goal owed something to fortune, Wigan were well worth their advantage. With Kavanagh's intelligent reading of the game, Wigan enjoyed much the better of what became an increasingly bad-tempered match.

Danny Tiatto, a player who always appears on the brink of self-combustion, might have been sent off for elbowing Jason Jarrett then launching a two-footed tackle on Nicky Eaden.

Wigan wisely concentrated on the football and the Kavanagh-Ormerod double act supplied a decisive second goal just before the hour. This time there was no doubt Ormerod supplied the decisive touch, the striker escaping from Dabizas to thump a header beyond Walker from Kavanagh's corner.

Wigan had further chances to add a third. Ormerod was denied a hat-trick by a fine save from Walker, Lee McCulloch's header was cleared off the line and Jason Roberts shot straight at the goalkeeper from eight yards.

For Craig Levein, the Leicester manager, it was a miserable way to begin a run of four home matches in the space of five games, and his side probably still need another win to guarantee Championship football next season.

"They were better than us," he said. "Of all the teams we've played, they caused us the most problems. We're only three points clear of relegation and we should never be in this position. We need to beat Cardiff here on Tuesday to take the pressure off."

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