Fulham wasted the chance to move within a point of Division Two leaders Stoke City as they fell to a shock 2-0 defeat at Wigan Athletic.

The Whites would have leapfrogged Walsall in the race for automatic promotion had they won but the big-spenders were outplayed and outmuscled by a dynamic Wigan outfit at Springfield Park, who moved up to tenth in the table after collecting all three points. The home side went in front six minutes into the second half when the former Manchester United defender Pat McGibbon punished some poor marking at a set-piece by heading in Michael O’Neill’s corner.

O’Neill was again the provider for Wigan’s killer second which was scored by stalwart David Lowe just after the hour mark. Fulham had chances to get back into the contest but Steve Hayward saw a spot-kick superbly saved by Republic of Ireland international Roy Carroll three minutes later and the visitors could not take advantage of Paul Rogers’ dismissal for a shocking tackle on Steve Finnan with seventeen minutes to play.

WIGAN ATHLETIC (4-4-2): Carroll; Balmer, Green, Greenall, McGibbon; Rogers, O’Neill, Bradshaw, Kilford; Lowe (Porter 75), Barlow. Subs (not used): Lee, Sharp.

BOOKED: Rogers.

SENT OFF: Rogers.

GOALS: McGibbon (51), Lowe (62).

FULHAM (4-3-3): Taylor; Finnan (Trollope 73), Brevett, Symons, Coleman; Bracewell (Beardsley 71), Morgan, Hayward; Peschisolido (Uhlenbeek 45), Horsfield, Hayles.

REFEREE: Brian Coddington (Sheffield)