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Match Reports

Albion 2 Wigan Athletic 0

26 December 2018

JAY Rodriguez's brace secured Boxing Day delight for Albion as they triumphed 2-0 over Wigan Athletic at The Hawthorns.

Rodriguez headed the Baggies into an early eighth-minute lead before securing the festive spoils courtesy of a blistering 25-yard strike, taking his tally for the season to 12 goals.

The frontman's double secured a third successive Sky Bet Championship victory for the dominant Baggies and extended their unbeaten sequence to eight matches, securing a second successive clean sheet in the process.

Albion will, however, assess an injury to Dwight Gayle after the 13-goal top scorer hobbled off in the early stages.

The Baggies, who claimed only a second win in their last eight meetings with the Latics, host Sheffield Wednesday next up on Saturday.

Following Saturday's 4-0 victory at Rotherham, Head Coach Darren Moore kept faith with an unchanged side for the fourth successive match.

And in-form Albion soon took an early lead to the delight of the home faithful, Gayle crossing for Rodriguez to direct a header beyond Christian Walton.

Yet the opener came at a cost as Gayle was forced off nursing what appeared to be a hamstring complaint.

Sam Johnstone saved from Reece James' free-kick before opposite number Walton made an even smarter stop to deny substitute Hal Robson-Kanu.

Walton was alert to tip over Harvey Barnes' deflected shot from a difficult angle as Albion went into the break holding a one-goal advantage.

Robson-Kanu came within inches of connecting with Matt Phillips' cross following a super cross-field pass from Rodriguez minutes after the restart.

Gavin Massey curled an effort over the crossbar for the Latics in the 65th minute while Barnes was denied by a full-stretch save from Walton at the other end just minutes later.

Yet Albion soon doubled their advantage courtesy of a blistering long-range half-volley from Rodriguez which flew past Walton.

Sub James Morrison almost added a quickfire third before Rodriguez was twice denied a hat-trick from the subsequent rebound.

Yet Albion held out, James clipping a post for the visitors with a late free-kick, to record their first Boxing Day victory since 2012 and continue their excellent run of form.

Albion: Johnstone, Adarabioyo, Dawson, Hegazi, Gibbs (Brunt 81), Phillips, Barry, Livermore (c) (Morrison 71), Gayle (Robson-Kanu 10), Rodriguez, Barnes.

Subs: Myhill, Mears, Harper, Sako.


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