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Last Updated: Saturday, 15 October 2005, 13:42 GMT 14:42 UK
Wigan 1-0 Newcastle
Jason Roberts celebrates his goal
Jason Roberts' lone strike was enough to give 10-man Wigan a hard-fought victory against a frustrated Newcastle.

Roberts put them ahead just before the break when he slid an angled shot underneath keeper Shay Given.

Lee Bowyer hit the woodwork as Newcastle battled back and Alan Shearer's header looked to have crossed the line but the referee said no.

Lee McCulloch was red-carded with six minutes left after a foul on Belozoglu Emre but Wigan held on for the win.

In the first ever league meeting between the sides, Premiership new boys Wigan refused to be easily intimidated by Graeme Souness' men.

Roberts' goal five minutes before the break was the deserved reward for a fiesty first-half performance.

Roberts had already hit the woodwork 10 minutes in, after outpacing last defender Robbie Elliott, and nine minutes later McCulloch headed a Wigan corner over the crossbar.

But Newcastle had the right to feel somewhat aggrieved as they saw their penalty claim turned down in the second minute.

Shearer's angled ball into the area attempted to pick out Michael Owen and the England international appeared to be hauled back by Leighton Baines, but referee Phil Dowd was unimpressed.

The woodwork then saved Wigan in the 26th minute after Shearer had flicked on a long goal-kick and Bowyer opted for a first-time shot from 18 yards.

Goalkeeper John Filan made a half-hearted attempt to save the tame shot and was fortunate to see the ball come back off the right-hand post.

Wigan finally dampened the visitors' spirits minutes before the interval with Damien Francis playing in Roberts behind the defence for an angled flick underneath Given.

Despite Jimmy Bullard clearing the crossbar by inches from a well-worked 20-yard free-kick, it was Newcastle who looked revitalised after the break.

But the Magpies were to suffer more frustration with more decisions going against them in the second half.

Another penalty appeal was turned down, after Shola Ameobi was caught by the advancing Filan as he chased a long ball into the area.

Then in the 64th minute, Shearer's header from substitute Emre's corner appeared to have crossed the line before a scrambled clearance from Baines but the assistant referee was unmoved.

Newcastle continued to put the home side under seige but to no avail, even when McCulloch was sent off late on, as Wigan took their unbeaten record to six games and moved - at least temporarily - to second place in the Premiership table.

  • Wigan striker Jason Roberts:
    "We're not surprised (by how we've started). We know we're good players and we know we can compete against teams like Newcastle.

    "We're doing really well and working hard for each other."

  • Newcastle striker Alan Shearer on his header:
    "The linesman has one job to do from a corner.

    "He's in a perfect position to see and the ball was quite clearly behind the line but the linesman made a mistake.

    "I thought it had crossed the line because the keeper had missed it and the defender was a yard behind the line - the ball had to be over."

    Wigan: Filan, Chimbonda, De Zeeuw, Henchoz, Baines, Bullard (Taylor 82), Kavanagh, Francis, McCulloch, Roberts, Camara (Connolly 76).
    Subs Not Used: McMillan, Jackson, Pollitt.

    Sent Off: McCulloch (85).

    Booked: Francis, Henchoz.

    Goals: Roberts 40.

    Newcastle: Given, Carr, Boumsong, Taylor, Elliott (Clark 88), Bowyer (Ameobi 37), Parker, Faye (Emre 45), N'Zogbia, Shearer, Owen.
    Subs Not Used: Harper, Ramage.

    Booked: Ameobi, Taylor, Carr.

    Att: 22,374

    Ref: P Dowd (Staffordshire).

    Interview: Wigan boss Paul Jewell

    Interview: Newcastle captain Alan Shearer


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