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James McClean scores goal and is later shown red card as Wigan maintain promotion push

In the Championship, Cardiff defeated Derby County 1-0.

James McClean (file photo).
James McClean (file photo).
Image: Alamy Stock Photo

JAMES MCCLEAN SCORED a goal and was later sent-off as Wigan Athletic maintained their promotion push from League One tonight.

Wigan won 2-0 at home to Fleetwood Town with McClean scoring the second when he netted in the 41st minute for his eighth goal of the season.

Another Ireland international had opened the scoring four minutes previously when Will Keane converted a penalty.

The game ended on a low note for McClean with red cards shown in injury-time at the end of the game to himself and Fleetwood’s Joe Garner.

The result leaves Wigan in second place in the table, seven points behind leaders Rotherham United but with two games in hand. Rotherham dropped points as they drew 0-0 away to Shrewsbury Town, Chiedozie Ogbene coming off the bench at half-time for Rotherham.

Gavin Bazunu was in goal for Portsmouth as they defeated fourth-placed Oxford United 3-2. Portsmouth are now in 10th, eight points off the play-off places and with games in hand.

In the Championship, Uche Ikpeazu dealt Derby’s survival prospects a damaging blow with his late winner securing a 1-0 Cardiff victory.

Both sides had hit the frame of the goal – Cardiff outscoring Derby two to one on that count – but the contest seemed destined for a goalless draw until Ikpeazu, on as a 66th-minute substitute, stuck out a foot from Perry Ng’s cross.

The 85th-minute winner was Ikpeazu’s third for Cardiff since his January loan move from Middlesbrough, and surely eases the Bluebirds’ last lingering relegation concerns.

derby-county-manager-wayne-rooney-applauds-the-fans-after-the-final-whistle-in-the-sky-bet-championship-match-at-the-cardiff-city-stadium-cardiff-picture-date-tuesday-march-1-2022 Wayne Rooney. Source: Alamy Stock Photo

It is not such a rosy picture for Derby, who were eight points from safety at kick-off and have now lost three games on the bounce.

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Rams boss Wayne Rooney knows games are fast running out and, coupled with doubts over the club’s very future with Derby still yet to provide proof of funding for the rest of season, this is an extremely worrying time for everyone connected with the club.

Cardiff started the night just two places above the relegation zone, but four wins in eight games had given them breathing space from the clubs below them.

- Additional reporting by PA

Comedian Michael Fry is our special guest on this week’s episode of The Front Row, in partnership with Guinness. Joining host Seán Burke, Eimear Considine and Murray Kinsella, he chats about his family’s rugby background and his short-lived playing days, before using his musical ear to rank the anthems of each Guinness Six Nations team. Click here to subscribe or listen below:


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