Rosler made to sweat it out

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Rod Gil­mour To com­ment on this match go to http://boards.footy­mad.net/

WI­GAN boss Uwe Rosler ad­mit­ted he lost “five years of my life” as this bat­tle for a play-off spot on the south coast ended in a first home de­feat in nine for Brighton.

James McArthur’s fine curler and Chris McCann’s power header ei­ther side of the break proved the dif­fer­ence be­fore Brighton ral­lied in the clos­ing stages, peg­ging one back through top-scorer Leonardo Ul­loa.

Vic­tory clearly meant a lot to the Lat­ics’ boss, who punched the air in de­light at the fi­nal whis­tle, be­fore ded­i­cat­ing the points to Ben Wat­son, ruled out for the sea­son in mid­week with a dou­ble leg break.

“I would pre­fer not to go through that last 20 min­utes very of­ten and that cost me five years of my life,” said Rosler af­ter their fourth suc­ces­sive win.

“I am de­lighted for the play­ers and ded­i­cate the win to Ben Wat­son, who went through an oper­a­tion on Fri­day.

“The will power to win and not get beaten speaks vol­umes as his in­jury was tough to take.We had to ad­just our style of play and tac­ti­cally we weren’t up to speed, but our ef­fort was enor­mous. We switched to three at the back and when we got the sec­ond, the crowd got edgy. What hap­pened in the last 15 min­utes was backs to the wall and we had lady luck on our side.”

As has been the norm at the Amex, all the early pres­sure came from Brighton, with Ul­loa go­ing clos­est with a tow­er­ing header which went inches wide on 12 min­utes.

The dead­lock was bro­ken by the vis­i­tors when McArthur in­ter­cepted a pass from Matthew Up­son, break­ing clear down the right be­fore curl­ing bril­liantly across an out­stretched To­masz Kuszczak.

A minute later Brighton should have lev­elled when Stephen Ward cross found Dale Stephens, but his vi­cious shot crashed down off the bar from ten yards.

The open­ing half may have been in­dica­tive of Brighton’s sea­son – bun­dles of cre­ativ­ity and crosses with­out con­vert­ing – but Wi­gan could have made it two, Mar­tyn Waghorn curl­ing his ef­fort just wide.

Four min­utes into the sec­ond­half, with Wi­gan re­vert­ing to two wing­backs, Waghorn turned provider with an in­ci­sive cross, met by McCann’s un­stop­pable header from six yards.

It meant that Brighton had to score more than one goal at home for the first time since early De­cem­ber. The Seag­ulls con­tin­ued to press and they were fi­nally re­warded in the 79th minute when Or­landi’s deep cross saw Up­son head down and Ul­loa drive low past Ali Al Habsi. Os­car Gar­cia, the Brighton boss, rued his side’s lack of fin­ish­ing but said it was the best first-half per­for­mance of the sea­son.

“When you have more than 20 chances and score only one goal, then you can ex­plain the game,” he said.

“We fully de­served to win and dom­i­nated the whole game and the only thing Wi­gan did bet­ter than us was to take their chances.

“We are try­ing to im­prove in the train­ing ses­sions. Some play­ers have the killer in­stinct and some don’t but I can take a lot of pos­i­tives from this.We only need to be more clin­i­cal in front of goal.”

PIC­TURES: Paul Hazlewood/The Dig­i­tal South

FIRST BLOOD: James McArthur puts Wi­gan ahead

JOY: James McArthur

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