Wolves 0-1 Wigan: Jake Buxton scores late winner
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 14/02/17 11:06pm
Jake Buxton grabbed a decisive late goal as Wigan boosted their bid to avoid relegation with a priceless 1-0 Sky Bet Championship win away to Wolves.
Buxton headed home an 88th-minute corner from Max Power - Wigan's first attempt on goal - as Wolves crashed to a third successive defeat.
Wigan still needed a stunning late save from Matt Gilks to hold on to the three points when he tipped away a 25-yard drive from Conor Ronan in stoppage time.
Gilks, who was making his first start after his recent move from Rangers, had earlier denied Dave Edwards in the 74th minute as Wigan continued their battle to avoid relegation with a dogged display.
Wolves toiled in front of their own fans as they again struggled to find the finishing touch in front of goal and Paul Lambert's side will need to play a lot better when they entertain Chelsea in the FA Cup on Saturday.
Wolves' Iceland striker Jon Dadi Bodvarsson tried to inject some life into a very tepid start to the game.
Bodvarsson, who has not scored since August, was narrowly off target with a close-range header in the eighth minute after a shot from Ronan had been deflected into his path.
Rookie midfielder Ronan, who was making his first senior appearance at Molineux, was at the heart of Wolves' best moves and he had a hand in them almost taking the lead in the 21st minute.
After winger Helder Costa had been fouled by Stephen Warnock, Ronan whipped in a free-kick from the right-hand edge of the area which was only half-cleared by the Wigan defence and fell invitingly to Costa, whose volley was heading for the top corner but Gilks was well placed to pluck the ball out of the air.
Wolves should have done better on the stroke of half-time only for Bright Enobakhare to drag his close-range shot into the side netting after a neat through-ball from Matt Doherty.
Wolves continued to probe but again lacked a cutting edge in front of goal when Edwards flashed his header from Costa's free-kick wide in the 56th minute.
In a bid to add some badly needed threat to his side, Wigan boss Warren Joyce sent on former Manchester United and Newcastle winger Gabriel Obertan for his debut in the 63rd minute following his recent arrival from the Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala, with Omar Bogle making way.
But it continued to be Wolves who held the attacking edge and they would have made the breakthrough in the 74th minute only to be denied by the athletic Gilks.
Ronan whipped in a right-wing free-kick and Edwards powered his header goalwards, with Gilks diving full-length to acrobatically palm the ball away.
Buxton then made his vital intervention before Gilks, appropriately, had the last word.
Wolves boss Paul Lambert:
"I'm like everyone else, disappointed and angry with the way that we performed. The first half was the catalyst.
"We were far too slow and defended too deep and waited for things to happen instead of going to make things happen. We never did enough, that's for sure. It wasn't good enough.
"We were too passive, we never dominated the ball and were not aggressive enough with or without the ball.
"Normally my teams come out of the traps and that is the disappointing thing. If you don't do things right then you will get beat. We have to be better than that."
Wigan boss Warren Joyce:
"It was a tough game against a good side and the game could have gone either way but in the end we have ended up with three points and we have got that really through effort, endeavour, bravery and guts.
"We have had a few kicks in the teeth and it shows a lot of character to come to a place like Wolves and stand up to them with the backing that they have got from the supporters and the stadium here.
"They are desperate to get points themselves ,so you are delighted with the way that the lads have fought tonight."