Rovers beaten by Wigan in season finale

Wigan Athletic 2-0 Bristol Rovers
DW Stadium, Sky Bet League One, Saturday 27 April 2024

Bristol Rovers fell to a 2-0 defeat away at Wigan Athletic in their final match of the 2023/24 season.

Athletic scored in each half to secure all three points, with Josh Magennis netting from close range on 30 minutes and Jonny Smith striking early in the second half.

Matt Taylor’s side saw their opportunities limited, with Scott Sinclair going closest for the Gas with a curling effort midway through the first half.

Rovers’ Jed Ward was called into action just 30 seconds into Saturday’s season finale, getting down low to deny Luke Chambers after the full-back had strode forward into a dangerous area.

Just moments later, Ward had to turn away Baba Adeeko’s well-taken effort for a corner, before being in the right place to tip a headed effort out and away from the Rovers goal.

The away side found clear opportunities hard to come by in the first half with the best sight of goal coming on 23 minutes. Brandon Aguilera’s precise pass found Sinclair, who skilfully stepped inside before firing a shot that deflected just wide of the far post.

Wigan’s pressure would continue and the home team got their reward on the half-hour mark. A low ball across the box was met by captain Magennis who, despite pressure from Elkan Baggott, was able to squeeze the ball in from close range.

The Latics’ lead was doubled just three minutes into the second half, as Rovers failed to deal with Jonny Smith’s marauding run into space on the edge of the area. The full-back struck with his left boot, beating Ward from the edge of the area.

The hosts thought they had found a third, and Magennis believed he had his personal second, just after the hour mark, but the Wigan captain was flagged for offside.

There was a moment of celebration on 78 minutes when U18s Player of the Season Kofi Shaw was introduced for his debut, replacing Luke Thomas and earning a rousing reception from the travelling Gasheads in attendance at DW Stadium.

But chances were at a premium for Rovers, who concluded the campaign in defeat at the DW Stadium.

Wigan Athletic: Tickle, J.Smith (Godo 60), Sessegnon (S.Smith 70), Morrison (Kerr 46), Hughes, Chambers, Adeeko, M.Smith, Aasgaard, McManaman (Sze 60), Magennis © (Kelman 70)
Subs not used: Amos (GK), Pearce
Goal: Magennis 30, J.Smith 48

Bristol Rovers: Ward, Hoole (Connolly 68), Wilson, Baggott, Vale, Rossiter (McCormick 68), Evans ©, Aguilera (Conteh 52), Thomas (Shaw 78), Sinclair, Brown (Vaughan 79)
Subs not used: Cox (GK), Lawrence
Booked: Vaughan

Referee: Marc Edwards
Attendance: 14,077 (776 away)

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