Hugo hits late goal to sink Clarets

Published Mar. 20, 2010 12:11 p.m. ET

It is now 15 defeats from 16 top-flight matches on the road for Burnley, who came as close as they have done all season to ending their away-day hoodoo. But Rodallega scored the most important goal of his nine for the Latics this season when he powered home a header from eight yards deep into time added on. It was the culmination to an occasionally hotly-contested affair, overshadowed in part in the 53rd minute when Wigan goalkeeper Chris Kirkland was seemingly struck by an object thrown from amongst the Burnley fans. Wearing a pained and quizzical expression as he looked towards the massed ranks of visiting supporters gathered behind his goal, the England goalkeeper rubbed the top of his head. Although the match was stopped for Kirkland to receive treatment, fortunately he was uninjured and was able to continue. Whether any action will be taken will now likely depend on whether the incident was caught on camera or via the club's own cctv. It was one of a number of moments that spiced up a typical battle to beat the drop that was high on endeavour, but lacking in real quality. Initially Burnley flew out of the traps, intent on putting an end to their miserable away record that boss Brian Laws promised this week would not continue. In the opening five minutes the Clarets peppered Kirkland's goal with an array of shots as Graham Alexander, Steven Fletcher, David Nugent, Martin Paterson and Wade Elliott tried their luck from a variety of distances and angles. But Latics stood firm, noticeably with Titus Bramble and Gary Caldwell making brave and important blocks to thwart the visitors' early onslaught, leaving Kirkland to make just one save that was comfortably dealt with. What followed for the remainder of the half was a frenetic, but relatively featureless affair as Wigan tried to gain a foothold in a game in which Burnley always had 10 men behind the ball whenever the home side pressed. Instead, the closest Wigan came in the opening 45 minutes was when Caldwell met an outswinging corner from James McCarthy with a 12-yard header that smacked against the right-hand post. As this was a local derby, there was also an edge to the game, one that saw Bramble fell Nugent with a scything challenge early on. But for whatever reason referee Mike Jones opted not to punish Bramble, even though Nugent required lengthy treatment on the sidelines. There also appeared to be an intentional forearm into the face of Paul Scharner from Michael Duff. That was after the ball had been played, an incident Jones failed to spot, yet may result in retrospective action from the Football Association. Somewhat ironically, Bramble and Duff were later booked in the second half for far more innocuous challenges as Jones finally reached for his notebook as the game turned fractious late on. As for chances in the second period, Wigan were denied a clear-cut penalty when Leon Cort brought down McCarthy as he attacked inside the area, but again Jones nor his assistant spotted the foul. Burnley came close via Alexander who curled narrowly wide a well-worked 20-yard free-kick after Nugent had been brought down by Bramble. Paterson then later clipped the top of the bar with a delightful volley after running on to a chipped through ball from Nugent. In injury time Nugent was denied by Kirkland who had sprinted off his line to block at the feet of the forward. As for Wigan, Jason Scotland - on for Scharner in the first half - sent a rasping drive inches beyond Jensen's right-hand post. Elliott also cleared off the line a looping header from Rodallega after he had risen to meet another outswinging McCarthy corner. In the dying moments Brian Jensen pulled off two brilliant saves to deny Scotland and Mohamed Diame, and at that stage Burnley appeared to be on course for only their second away point of the season. But then with the clock ticking down, substitute Victor Moses made his way to the edge of the area, flicking in a cross for Rodallega to grab a dramatic winner and send the majority of the DW Stadium into raptures.