(Roberts, 38) (Vaughan, pen 55) (McManaman, 86)


(Burn og, 84)

ROVERS are in the midst of a sticky patch, with the goals conceded at one end are just as much of a worry as the struggles in attack which saw them barely threaten at the DW Stadium.

The promised response to the 4-1 reverse at Deepdale didn’t materialise as goals from Gary Roberts, a James Vaughan penalty and a Callum McManaman tap-in saw the Latics to victory.

McManaman’s goal came just 60 seconds after a Dan Burn own goal looked to have set up a grandstand finish which Rovers didn’t really deserve.

And the way that Josh Windass was allowed to ghost his way in to the box to set up the Latics’ third summed up Rovers’ evening.

A feisty opening to the game saw three players booked inside the opening 15 minutes.

Jack Rodwell, one of four Rovers changes replaced the injured Darragh Lenihan, was left in a heap by a terrible-looking James Vaughan challenge.

Lee Evans then clattered in to Richie Smallwood to become the second player in Keith Stroud’s notebook, with Danny Graham, recalled after his goalscoring cameo at Preston, the third after taking down Reece James.

There was clearly some needle left over from last season’s battle to the end, before both secured promotion back to this level, but that feistiness was taking away, rather than adding to, the contest.

Tony Mowbray was left exasperated at the number of long balls forward which failed to find their target as Rovers struggled going forward.

They ended the first half goal-less, the 12th time in their last 18 league matches, with their best chance of the opening 45 minutes coming when Graham could only guide over a Ryan Nyambe cross.

But the hosts took charge of the closing stages, having three huge changes came in a matter of seconds. First Vaughan saw his header from a corner cleared off the line by Evans before Dan Burn’s follow-up was tipped on to the bar by David Raya. With Rovers still reeling, the ball was kept alive and Cedric Kipre glanced wide unmarked from six yards.

When the goal did come for Wigan, seven minutes before the break, it was all too easy for Roberts, allowed to come in on his left foot and find the net from 20 yards via Raya’s right-hand post

The Rovers fans behind the goal could only watch on as their side failed to heed the warning from set play as Vaughan got free to head goalwards, with an offside Josh Windass there to deny his own team-mate a certain goal as the ball hit him on the line.

Windass then drew a save from Raya after cutting inside Nyambe, before hitting the inside of the post, albeit from an offside position.

Chasing a way back in to the game, Mowbray opted to take off Graham, bringing on defender Derrick Williams in a switch which saw Amari’I Bell play more advanced and Armstrong up front.

But their best laid plans were undone just 10 minutes after the re-start when Rodwell brought down Windass, and Vaughan dispatched the spot-kick high in to the roof off the net.

That came moments after Rovers’ best chance, with Armstrong shooting too closely at Walton in what was their first shot on target.

Rovers had looked susceptible from set plays all night, as Burn headed wide on the hour mark, and if any team was going to score again it would be the hosts as Windass saw a shot deflected on to the bar.

That was the same fate suffered by an overhit James free kick as Rovers looked well beaten with the game meandering.

There was some sign of life, handed to them when Derrick Williams’ header hit Burn to nestle in the corner, but any hopes of doing what Wigan had done at Ewood and come from two goals down to earn a point were over from the moment McManaman struck.