Wigan Athletic 0-1 Derby County – how the first half unfolded

Derby County lead 10-man Wigan Athletic 1-0 at half-time in Saturday’s Sky Bet Championship clash at the DW Stadium.

Wigan had Kal Naismith sent off for a professional foul on Harry Wilson after only 15 minutes.

Jack Marriott then headed the Rams in front shortly afterwards with his eighth goal of the season.

Derby boss Frank Lampard made one change from the side that started the 2-1 home victory over Swansea City last weekend.

Marriott returned after missing the Swansea game due to a foot injury.

He came in for David Nugent, who dropped to the bench. Midfielder Max Bird was the player to drop out of the squad but young defender Calum Macdonald was named in the 18 for a second match running.

Jack Marriott celebrates for Derby County at Wigan Athletic
(Image: Andy Clarke)

Bradley Johnson, who scored the winner on Derby’s previous visit to Wigan two years ago, served the second game of his five-match suspension.

He was joined on the sidelines by Curtis Davies (Achilles), Craig Forsyth (knee), Mason Bennett (hamstring) and Marcus Olsson (knee).

Joe Ledley is back in training after hip surgery but did not feature and neither did fellow midfielder George Evans, who played for the under-23s on Friday night.

Wigan boss Paul Cook also made one change, following his side’s 1-1 draw with Bolton Wanderers.

Former Derby loan striker James Vaughan replaced Will Grigg up front for the Latics.

Nick Powell (hamstring) was not deemed fit enough to return to action, with Antonee Robinson (ankle), Gavin Massey (hamstring), Chey Dunkley (knee) and ex-Rams winger Michael Jacobs (hamstring) also sidelined by injury.

The hosts were first to threaten, in the fourth minute.

Naismith and Josh Windass combined nicely to find Nathan Byrne in the box, on the left, and his dangerous low centre was parried by Scott Carson and grabbed at the second attempt.

Carson, who Derby signed from Wigan in 2015, took a knock in the process, with Windass appearing to catch him in the head, but the keeper was able to continue after receiving treatment.

The Rams carved out their first sight of goal in the eighth minute.

Jayden Bogle cut inside from the right and got past his man before seeing an angled drive pushed around the post by Christian Walton.

Wigan got in down the left again in the 10th minute but this time Gary Roberts’ centre flashed across the face of goal, just evading Vaughan at the near post.

Five minutes later, the home side were reduced to 10 men.

Fikayo Tomori launched the ball forward to Marriott, who brought it down beautifully on the volley before threading a pass in behind the defence for Wilson to run on to.

Wilson looked set to be in on goal before being clearly hauled down by Naismith just outside the area.

Referee Gavin Ward decided it was a sending off offence and showed the Wigan left-back a straight red card.

Wilson could not beat the defensive wall from the free kick – but Derby did take the lead with 20 minutes on the clock.

Tom Lawrence found Bogle in space wide on the right and his cross was expertly glanced into the far corner of the net by the head of Marriott from eight yards out.

Jack Marriott celebrates scoring for Derby County at Wigan Athletic
(Image: Andy Clarke)

Derby looked to press home their advantage – and were soon all over Wigan.

Tom Huddlestone’s shot was deflected wide before Lawrence fired over from a tight angle.

The Rams went close to a second goal in the 27th minute.

Derby were appealing for a penalty after Lawrence went down in the box – but Marriott played to the whistle and won the ball back and drilled in a low cross from the left.

Walton parried the ball out, it hit Craig Bryson and broke into the path of Wilson, whose goalbound effort was blocked on the line by Byrne.

Cook had to do something to stem the tide – and he made a double change on the half-hour, sacrificing Vaughan and Roberts, and bringing on Callum Connolly and Darron Gibson.

The Rams continued to largely control proceedings but Wigan managed to keep the deficit down to one at the break.

Wilson and Latics skipper Sam Morsy clashed following a hefty challenge in the 32nd minute. Morsy claimed the Derby man had headbutted him as the pair squared up – but both players were eventually booked.

Lawrence bent a shot narrowly wide from Marriott’s lay-off, while Mason Mount’s well-struck 20-yarder was pushed behind by the diving Walton.

Marriott glanced another header wide from another Bogle cross and, at the other end, Reece James saw his free kick travel straight into the arms of Carson on the stroke of half-time.