West Brom closed the gap to the Sky Bet Championship play-offs to four points with a 1-0 win over lowly Wigan at The Hawthorns.
Daryl Dike’s 27th-minute header – his third goal in two home games – was enough to extend their eight-match unbeaten home run in the Championship.
Carlos Corberan’s side looked good value for their return to winning ways as Dike, Jed Wallace and John Swift hit the woodwork, while Conor Townsend’s shot forced a superb save from Ben Amos.
But Wigan’s Tom Pearce – who was not even named in their 18-man squad until an injury to Jack Whatmough in the warm-up – almost grabbed a spectacular equaliser at the death.
West Brom missed a golden chance to take the lead in the 16th minute.
Jayson Molumby seemed to get the ball tangled between his feet from Conor Townsend’s low cross from six yards out after Wallace had switched play then Marc Albrighton fed the left-back on the overlap.
Albion scored the goal they deserved in the 27th minute. Dike started and finished it, nodding home from a yard out after he held up play from Wallace’s pass then released Molumby for a cross that Amos palmed onto the crossbar.
Inspired by his sixth goal of the season, the American striker then went close to a spectacular strike with a full-blooded volley on the turn after flicking up Darnell Furlong’s pass. Amos was relieved to turn it onto the post before collecting.
West Brom tried to strengthen their grip on the game in the second half. Townsend went close when his low drive was tipped away by Amos at full stretch then the dangerous Wallace twice threatened, smacking a shot against the post then sidefooting wide from Swift’s through-ball.
Wigan attempted to make Albion pay for their missed chances by pressing for the equaliser in the last 20 minutes.
Ashley Fletcher crossed for substitute Josh Magennis but the striker could only head over the bar.
Then fellow replacement Thelo Aasgaard forced Josh Griffiths to palm away a curling effort after Nathaniel Chalobah carelessly conceded possession on the edge of his own box.
Fletcher maintained the visitors’ threat when he sized up a shot from 25 yards but his curling effort drifted wide.
But Swift should have scored an overdue Albion second goal only to hit the bar with a shot as they seemingly tried to walk the ball into Wigan’s net.
There was just time for Pearce’s angled volley to be tipped over by Griffiths at the death.
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