The FA Cup - Third Round
West BromWest Bromwich Albion1WiganWigan Athletic0

West Brom 1-0 Wigan in FA Cup third round: Bakary Sako strikes to knock out Latics

By Ged ScottBBC Sport

West Bromwich Albion reached the FA Cup fourth round with a narrow win over 2013 winners Wigan Athletic.

In a third-round tie between two under-strength sides, Bakary Sako headed the only goal of the game after 31 minutes to book a place in Monday's draw.

Wigan keeper Jamie Jones superbly saved Chris Brunt's 25-yard free kick, clawing it out of the top-right corner.

But, from the resulting corner kick, Brunt crossed for Sako to head in off the underside of the bar.

Despite being bolstered by reduced ticket price offers, the crowd of 15,465 was still more than 10,000 down on the 25,555 who turned up for Albion's 2-0 Championship win over the Latics 10 days earlier.

That was always likely in the event of expected mass team changes following a busy programme of festive fixtures and, between them, Baggies head coach Darren Moore and Wigan manager Paul Cook made 16 of them.

Albion's nine alterations added to the seven made by Wigan, which included a late, unexpected one when midfielder Darron Gibson pulled out after the warm-up, to be replaced by Lee Evans.

For most of an under-par game, five-times FA Cup winners Albion always looked the more likely winners, especially once Sako had netted his first goal for the club.

Keeper Jones got his fingertips to Sako's header to turn it onto the bar, then argued that the ball had not crossed the line, but television replays confirmed the goal stood.

Sako was denied a second goal after the break when he raced onto a pass by Rekeem Harper but was twice thwarted, first by Jones and then by Chey Dunkley's clearance off the line.

Jones also denied Albion's Sam Field from fellow midfielder Wes Hoolahan's pass, Wigan went close with a header over from Baggies old boy Callum McManaman, while Dunkley just failed to latch onto Kal Naismith's far-post free-kick.

Wigan have not won now in five away FA Cup ties since beating Manchester City 2-1 in the quarter-final in March 2014 - the year after famously beating City at Wembley.

West Bromwich Albion head coach Darren Moore told BBC Sport:

"I'm very happy with the result and the performance. It was a 1-0 win but the way we dominated, we could have won by more.

"I'm delighted for Bakary to come in and score the winner but he could have got another one when he went through.

"We used the ball well and worked extremely hard off the ball. And I was pleased with the way the experienced players helped the youngsters through.

"I was pleased with the fans' patience. They've now seen a little bit of the flavour of talent that we've got within the club."

Wigan Athletic manager Paul Cook:

"It was a tough game for us in general. We start games really well, we miss a chance or two and then we get punished.

"As a manager you can only say 'are the players doing enough?' and I think they are working hard and doing enough.

"The players are doing everything they can do in games. We have clear water in our focus.

"We must now show the unity to keep us in the division. The focus is the target of the achievement of staying in the league."

Line-ups

West Brom

Formation 4-3-1-2

  • 23Bond
  • 68Holgate
  • 5Bartley
  • 24Adarabioyo
  • 14Townsend
  • 34HarperSubstituted forMorrisonat 87'minutes
  • 28FieldBooked at 90mins
  • 11BruntBooked at 79mins
  • 22HoolahanSubstituted forEdwardsat 72'minutes
  • 20LekoSubstituted forRobson-Kanuat 79'minutes
  • 6Sako

Substitutes

  • 4Robson-Kanu
  • 7Morrison
  • 12Mears
  • 21Edwards
  • 32Fitzwater
  • 39Palmer
  • 40Howkins

Wigan

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 23Jones
  • 2ByrneBooked at 58mins
  • 22Dunkley
  • 21Kipre
  • 20Naismith
  • 26ConnollyBooked at 29minsSubstituted forRobertsat 66'minutes
  • 36Evans
  • 19Da Silva LopesSubstituted forJamesat 57'minutes
  • 10Windass
  • 15McManamanSubstituted forMacDonaldat 77'minutes
  • 9Grigg

Substitutes

  • 1Walton
  • 8Vaughan
  • 12James
  • 16MacDonald
  • 18Roberts
  • 41Garner
Referee:
Keith Stroud
Attendance:
15,465

Match Stats

Home TeamWest BromAway TeamWigan
Possession
Home55%
Away45%
Shots
Home12
Away9
Shots on Target
Home6
Away2
Corners
Home3
Away7
Fouls
Home10
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, West Bromwich Albion 1, Wigan Athletic 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, West Bromwich Albion 1, Wigan Athletic 0.

  3. Booking

    Sam Field (West Bromwich Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Sam Field (West Bromwich Albion).

  5. Post update

    Kal Naismith (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by James Morrison (West Bromwich Albion).

  7. Post update

    Shaun MacDonald (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Attempt saved. William Grigg (Wigan Athletic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Gary Roberts with a cross.

  9. Post update

    Offside, West Bromwich Albion. Kyle Edwards tries a through ball, but Hal Robson-Kanu is caught offside.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. James Morrison replaces Rekeem Harper because of an injury.

  11. Post update

    Attempt missed. Hal Robson-Kanu (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Conor Townsend.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Conor Townsend (West Bromwich Albion).

  13. Post update

    Gary Roberts (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  15. Post update

    Delay in match Rekeem Harper (West Bromwich Albion) because of an injury.

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Josh Windass (Wigan Athletic) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Kal Naismith.

  17. Booking

    Chris Brunt (West Bromwich Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Chris Brunt (West Bromwich Albion).

  19. Post update

    Kal Naismith (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Hal Robson-Kanu replaces Jonathan Leko.

Comments

Join the conversation

These comments are now closed.

36 comments

Top Stories

Explore the BBC