FA Cup holders Wigan continued their defence of the trophy with a gutsy fourth-round win against Premier League strugglers Crystal Palace.

Former Palace midfielder Ben Watson steered in James McClean's cutback for Wigan's first-half opener.

Palace levelled when substitute Aaron Wilbraham pounced on a loose ball inside the six-yard box to score with his first touch.

But the hosts dug deep to win through McClean's low shot from 15 yards.

The Latics upset the odds to beat Manchester City at Wembley in May and, while this victory did not rank quite on the same scale, there was still an element of a surprise as the mid-table Championship side secured their place in the last 16.

Wigan and Palace swapped divisions in the summer, with the Latics relegated shortly after their Wembley triumph and Palace winning promotion through the play-offs.

Rare meeting

Matches between Wigan and Palace have been rare, with the Eagles making only their second trip to this part of Lancashire. Their previous visit - the first time the clubs had met - came in November 2005 and ended in a thumping 5-0 home win. It was a special day for Latics striker Andy Liddell, who scored twice to become the club's record goalscorer.

But for long periods it was difficult to distinguish any difference in league standing between the pair.

Wigan dominated the first half and Callum McManaman, one of the stars of the Latics' final triumph, was the source of the home side's most threatening play.

The England U21 international several times used his pace to skip past Palace left-back Jonathan Parr - carried off on a stretcher late in the first half with a serious-looking neck injury after a mid-air collision with McManaman - without being able to pick out a team-mate with his final ball.

But while he posed problems down the right wing, Wigan's opener was created on the opposite flank as McClean was allowed space to pick out the run of Watson - scorer of the winner in last season's final at Wembley.

Palace offered few glimpses of their attacking threat in the first half, but upped the tempo after the break.

Barry Bannan's inswinging corner evaded everyone in the home box as Ali Al-Habsi was almost caught out before stopping the Scot's set-piece on the line.

Seconds later, the Oman international showed superb athleticism to tip over Jason Puncheon's stinging 18-yard drive before Palace skipper Paddy McCarthy headed over.

Escaped Eagle

Wigan's opening goalscorer - and FA Cup hero - Ben Watson made almost 200 appearances for Crystal Palace between 2003 and 2009. The midfielder started his career at Selhurst Park before a £2m switch to Wigan.

And the equaliser finally arrived following a double attacking substitution by Eagles boss Tony Pulis.

Wilbraham pounced on a loose ball inside the Wigan six-yard box to lash in, just 150 seconds after he entered the action alongside Dwight Gayle.

And just moments later, Gayle almost put the visitors ahead, drawing another acrobatic save from Al-Habsi as Palace gained the impetus.

But the Eagles, who felt they should have been awarded a late penalty for a shirt tug on Gayle, were dumped out of the competition when McClean accepted Roger Espinoza's pass to fire in his first Latics goal.

Wigan boss Uwe Rosler:

"It is fantastic to be in the last 16 and who knows what can happen if we get a good draw at home in the next round.

"I think the win was deserved. The players did a very good job against a strong Crystal Palace side.

"In the first 10-15 minutes we looked a bit nervous but then Callum McManaman got on song and looked very good. Both wide players [McManaman and James McClean] did very well.

"We had a lot of opportunities to put the game to bed but we didn't do that. That's why it was nervous near the end, although I'm not sure Palace should have had a penalty."

Crystal Palace boss Tony Pulis:

"We're disappointed not to get something out of the game. We came to have a go and tried to win the game.

"When you play in Cup ties you need certain decisions to go your way. One or two decisions didn't go our way but that is what happens."

On Jonathan Parr's injury: "He has gone to hospital for a scan. We need to look at the incident again, but it looks like the lad has caught him. It will be interesting to see it again on the cameras.

"We think it was caused by the impact.

"[We're] not sure whether it is his jaw or his neck at the moment."

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (6)

Wigan Athletic

  • 26 Al-Habsi
  • 24 Perch Booked
  • 22 Beausejour
  • 16 McArthur (McCann - 80' )
  • 17 Boyce
  • 25 Barnett Booked
  • 15 McManaman (Fortuné - 74' )
  • 08 Watson
  • 29 Maynard (Powell - 74' )
  • 18 Espinoza
  • 11 McClean

Substitutes

  • 03 Crainey
  • 07 McCann
  • 13 Nicholls
  • 14 Jordi Gómez
  • 19 Powell
  • 28 Redmond
  • 32 Fortuné

Crystal Palace

  • 01 Speroni
  • 03 Mariappa
  • 04 Parr (Moxey - 46' )
  • 12 O'Keefe
  • 05 McCarthy
  • 27 Delaney
  • 13 Puncheon
  • 31 Guédioura
  • 30 Jerome Booked (Gayle - 66' )
  • 29 Chamakh (Wilbraham - 66' Booked )
  • 46 Bannan

Substitutes

  • 06 Campaña
  • 16 Gayle
  • 18 Wilbraham
  • 20 Williams
  • 21 Moxey
  • 34 Price
  • 38 Boateng
Ref: Mike Jones
Att: 9,542

Match Stats

Shots

17 11

On target

6 8

Corners

7 5

Fouls

16 17

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Wigan Athletic 2, Crystal Palace 1.

90:00 +4:50 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Wigan Athletic 2, Crystal Palace 1.

90:00 +4:15 Booking

Booking Emmerson Boyce (Wigan Athletic) is shown the yellow card.

90:00 +4:08

Foul by Emmerson Boyce (Wigan Athletic).

90:00 +4:08

Dwight Gayle (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90:00 +3:33

Attempt saved. Aaron Wilbraham (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

90:00 +2:59

Attempt saved. James McClean (Wigan Athletic) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

90:00 +1:31 Booking

Booking James Perch (Wigan Athletic) is shown the yellow card.

90:00 +1:22

Foul by James Perch (Wigan Athletic).

90:00 +1:22

Dwight Gayle (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

90:00 +1:00

Nick Powell (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90:00 +0:54

Foul by Dean Moxey (Crystal Palace).

90:00 +0:16

Foul by Nick Powell (Wigan Athletic).

90:00 +0:16

Dean Moxey (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick on the right wing.

89:20

Nick Powell (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

89:20

Foul by Damien Delaney (Crystal Palace).

88:03

Attempt saved. Patrick McCarthy (Crystal Palace) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

87:22

Foul by Nick Powell (Wigan Athletic).

87:22

Dwight Gayle (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

86:16

James Perch (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

86:16

Foul by Stuart O'Keefe (Crystal Palace).

83:45 Booking

Booking Aaron Wilbraham (Crystal Palace) is shown the yellow card.

83:37

James Perch (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

83:37

Foul by Aaron Wilbraham (Crystal Palace).

82:00

Jean Beausejour (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

82:00

Foul by Adlène Guédioura (Crystal Palace).

81:08

Attempt missed. Aaron Wilbraham (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

80:34

Foul by James McClean (Wigan Athletic).

80:34

Dwight Gayle (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

80:05

Corner, Wigan Athletic. Conceded by Patrick McCarthy.

79:49

Attempt blocked. Marc-Antoine Fortuné (Wigan Athletic) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

79:12 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Wigan Athletic. Chris McCann replaces James McArthur.

78:51

Roger Espinoza (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick on the right wing.

78:51

Foul by Dwight Gayle (Crystal Palace).

77:58 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Wigan Athletic 2, Crystal Palace 1. James McClean (Wigan Athletic) left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Roger Espinoza.

76:53

Attempt saved. James Perch (Wigan Athletic) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top right corner.

76:22

James McClean (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

76:22

Foul by Adlène Guédioura (Crystal Palace).

75:41

Attempt missed. Nick Powell (Wigan Athletic) left footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left.

73:50 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Wigan Athletic. Nick Powell replaces Nicky Maynard.

73:36 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Wigan Athletic. Marc-Antoine Fortuné replaces Callum McManaman.

72:02

Attempt missed. James McClean (Wigan Athletic) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the left.

71:20

Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Ali Al-Habsi.

71:03

Attempt saved. Dwight Gayle (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

70:21

Corner, Wigan Athletic. Conceded by Stuart O'Keefe.

69:34

Corner, Wigan Athletic. Conceded by Jason Puncheon.

68:58 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Wigan Athletic 1, Crystal Palace 1. Aaron Wilbraham (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Barry Bannan with a cross.

68:02

Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Jean Beausejour.

65:49 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Crystal Palace. Aaron Wilbraham replaces Marouane Chamakh.

65:36 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Crystal Palace. Dwight Gayle replaces Cameron Jerome.

65:23

James McClean (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

65:23

Foul by Adrian Mariappa (Crystal Palace).

64:01

Corner, Wigan Athletic. Conceded by Patrick McCarthy.

63:49

Attempt blocked. Callum McManaman (Wigan Athletic) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

63:36

Attempt blocked. James McArthur (Wigan Athletic) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

62:36

Foul by Callum McManaman (Wigan Athletic).

62:36

Stuart O'Keefe (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

59:56

Attempt missed. Damien Delaney (Crystal Palace) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

59:30

Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Ali Al-Habsi.

59:21

Attempt saved. Marouane Chamakh (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

58:36

Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Ben Watson.

57:46

Foul by James Perch (Wigan Athletic).

57:46

Dean Moxey (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick on the left wing.

56:35

Attempt missed. Damien Delaney (Crystal Palace) header from the centre of the box misses to the right.

55:40

Foul by Emmerson Boyce (Wigan Athletic).

55:40

Cameron Jerome (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick on the left wing.

52:48

Attempt missed. Callum McManaman (Wigan Athletic) left footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the left.

51:55

Corner, Wigan Athletic. Conceded by Barry Bannan.

47:13

Attempt saved. Stuart O'Keefe (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

45:51

Leon Barnett (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick on the right wing.

45:51

Foul by Cameron Jerome (Crystal Palace).

45:00

Second Half begins Wigan Athletic 1, Crystal Palace 0.

45:00 +9:18 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Wigan Athletic 1, Crystal Palace 0.

45:00 +8:21

Foul by James Perch (Wigan Athletic).

45:00 +8:21

Marouane Chamakh (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

45:00 +7:45

Foul by Leon Barnett (Wigan Athletic).

45:00 +7:45

Cameron Jerome (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

45:00 +7:02

James Perch (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick on the left wing.

45:00 +7:02

Foul by Marouane Chamakh (Crystal Palace).

45:00 +5:46

Foul by James McClean (Wigan Athletic).

45:00 +5:46

Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

45:00 +5:17

Attempt saved. Callum McManaman (Wigan Athletic) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the centre of the goal.

45:00 +4:23

Jean Beausejour (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick on the right wing.

45:00 +4:23

Foul by Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace).

45:00 +3:22

Callum McManaman (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick on the right wing.

45:00 +3:22

Foul by Dean Moxey (Crystal Palace).

45:00 +0:20 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Crystal Palace. Dean Moxey replaces Jonathan Parr because of an injury.

37:09

Foul by Callum McManaman (Wigan Athletic).

37:09

Jonathan Parr (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

35:35 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Wigan Athletic 1, Crystal Palace 0. Ben Watson (Wigan Athletic) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by James McClean with a cross.

30:19

Attempt blocked. James McArthur (Wigan Athletic) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

28:16

Attempt missed. James McClean (Wigan Athletic) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

25:04

Attempt missed. Ben Watson (Wigan Athletic) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

24:33

Corner, Wigan Athletic. Conceded by Adrian Mariappa.

22:06

Foul by James McArthur (Wigan Athletic).

22:06

Marouane Chamakh (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

20:22

Foul by James McArthur (Wigan Athletic).

20:22

Adlène Guédioura (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

19:16

Attempt missed. Callum McManaman (Wigan Athletic) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left.

18:50

Corner, Wigan Athletic. Conceded by Patrick McCarthy.

18:29

Attempt blocked. James McClean (Wigan Athletic) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

17:50

Roger Espinoza (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick on the left wing.

17:50

Foul by Stuart O'Keefe (Crystal Palace).

16:49

James Perch (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

16:49

Foul by Damien Delaney (Crystal Palace).

16:13

Hand ball by Leon Barnett (Wigan Athletic).

15:45

Foul by James McClean (Wigan Athletic).

15:45

Stuart O'Keefe (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick on the left wing.

13:05

Attempt saved. Stuart O'Keefe (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

9:36 Booking

Booking Cameron Jerome (Crystal Palace) is shown the yellow card.

9:29

James McArthur (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

9:29

Foul by Cameron Jerome (Crystal Palace).

8:17

Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Ali Al-Habsi.

7:56

Attempt saved. Cameron Jerome (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top right corner.

6:40

Jean Beausejour (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

6:40

Foul by Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace).

2:18

Attempt saved. Callum McManaman (Wigan Athletic) header from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

1:27

Callum McManaman (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

1:27

Foul by Jonathan Parr (Crystal Palace).

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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