News24

Fletcher sinks Wigan

2012-09-29 18:13

Sunderland - Sunderland recorded their first victory of the Premier League season and ended a 12-game winless streak in the English top flight by beating 10-man Wigan Athletic 1-0 on Saturday.

On a windy afternoon at the Stadium of Light, Steven Fletcher claimed the only goal of the game in the 51st minute, shortly after Wigan midfielder Jordi Gomez had been sent off for sliding in on Danny Rose.

Despite having registered a first win after four consecutive draws, Martin O'Neill's Sunderland slipped one place to 13th in the table, while Roberto Martinez's Wigan remained 15th.

It took a fine, point-blank save from Simon Mignolet to prevent Arouna Kone from giving Wigan the lead after 15 minutes, while at the other end, Ivan Ramis had to clear Sebastian Larsson's free-kick off his own goal-line.

Wigan midfielder James McCarthy shot narrowly wide of Mignolet's goal shortly before half-time but the visitors were dealt a heavy blow two minutes into the second period when Gomez was shown a straight red card for an ugly foul on Rose.

It left the Latics facing over 40 minutes of football with a numerical disadvantage and it took Sunderland just four minutes to capitalise.

After a strong run and cross from Irish winger James McClean, Fletcher applied the finishing touch to claim his fifth league goal of the season.

The Scot, a reported 15 million ($23 million) summer signing from Wolverhampton Wanderers, remains the only player to have scored for Sunderland since the start of the campaign.

The hosts turned the screw, with Ali Al Habsi saving from Stephane Sessegnon and McClean bending an inviting cross across the face of goal, and Wigan were unable to respond despite the introduction from the bench of striker Franco Di Santo.

AFP