Thu, Aug 20, 2009 - Page 18 News List

Wanderer Keogh ruins Martinez’s return to Wigan

AFP , WIGAN, ENGLAND

The Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Greg Halford heads the ball over Wigan Athletic’s Titus Bramble at DW Stadium in Wigan, England, on Tuesday.

PHOTO: AFP

Wolverhampton forward Andrew Keogh ruined Wigan boss Roberto Martinez’s first home match in charge of the Latics as his early goal clinched a 1-0 win on Tuesday.

Former Wigan midfielder Martinez saw his side win 2-0 at Aston Villa in Saturday’s Premier League opener, but his homecoming at the DW Stadium ended in disappointment thanks to Keogh’s header.

Wigan pressed hard for an equalizer but the visitors battled fiercely to hold onto their first victory since promotion from the Championship last season.

Wolves boss Mick McCarthy was without former Manchester United striker Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, who had a hamstring injury, while captain Jody Craddock made the 500th start of his club career.

Keogh filled in nicely for Ebanks-Blake. He was close to putting McCarthy’s men ahead in the second minute when he cut back onto his right foot to curl a shot that struck the far post.

Keogh did not have to wait long to open the scoring. In the sixth minute the Republic of Ireland international rose above Paul Scharner to glance Nenad Milijas’s free-kick past Chris Kirkland and in off the post.

It was Wolves’ first Premier League goal since 2004 and they should have had another soon after. This time Keogh was the provider as his flick found Greg Halford, only for the unmarked midfielder to shoot over.

Wigan gradually began to exert some pressure of their own.

Martinez’s team had the ball in the net when Jordi Gomez headed in Charles N’Zogbia’s free-kick, only to have the effort ruled out for offside.

Latics defender Titus Bramble headed wide from a corner, then N’Zogbia squandered a glorious chance when he ran on to Hugo Rodallega’s flick only to shoot tamely at Wayne Hennessey.

Wolves appealed for a penalty when Keogh was caught by Bramble’s out-stretched foot, but referee Mick Jones booked the forward for diving.

Martinez made a double substitution in the 61st minute, sending on striker Jason Scotland and on-loan Chelsea winger Scott Sinclair for Michael Brown and Jason Koumas.

Sinclair headed Gomez’s cross agonizingly wide at the far post and Scharner fired over in the last chance of the game as Wolves survived.

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