MX23RW : Friday, January 18 10:42:59

Result: Rodriguez at the double for West Brom

Result: Rodriguez at the double for West Brom
© Reuters
The 29-year-old scored his 11th and 12th goals of the season.

West Brom kept their bid to win automatic promotion firmly on course as a Jay Rodriguez double earned them a 2-0 Sky Bet Championship win against Wigan at The Hawthorns.

Rodriguez's eighth-minute header broke the deadlock and he struck again in the 69th minute with his 12th goal of the season – and the team's 52nd of the campaign – as Albion secured a third straight win and a sixth victory in their last eight games.

While third-placed Albion's sights are on the top of the table, Wigan are slipping close to the relegation zone as their poor run continued.

They have won only once in 11 games and taken a solitary point from their last 10 away matches.

The Baggies' free-scoring attack was quickly into a familiar routine with Rodriguez nodding them into the lead. He headed the ball past goalkeeper Christian Walton from seven yards after the ball had been played to him by Dwight Gayle.

But the goal came at a cost for Albion as 13-goal leading scorer Gayle went down after crossing the ball with what appeared to be a knee problem and was immediately replaced by Hal Robson-Kanu.

Given Wigan's poor away form, it would have been easy for them to fold, but they quickly went in search of an equaliser and would have got one in the 14th minute but for goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, who beat away Reece James's goal bound free-kick.

Despite that scare, Albion generally remained in the ascendancy and it needed the combined efforts of Wigan central defender Dan Burn and Walton to prevent them doubling their advantage.

Robson-Kanu was homing in on goal in the 19th minute but Burn challenged him as he was shooting and Walton completed the rescue act by tipping the ball around the post.

Walton was in action again 10 minutes later – this time pushing a shot from Harvey Barnes over the bar as Albion started to dominate proceedings.

Robson-Kanu then narrowly failed to convert a cross from Matt Phillips in the 50th minute as Albion began the second-half as they had ended the first.

Failing to take their chances threatened to cost them in the 65th minute when they failed to clear a free-kick and Albion were relieved to see Gavin Massey's shot fly just over the bar.

But West Brom's frustrations were eased when Rodriguez finally found a way past Walton who moments earlier had denied Robson-Kanu.

Rodriguez volleyed  home an unstoppable 20-yard volley after he had intercepted a clearance from Wigan's Cheyenne Dunkley.

Wigan's dismal day was then summed up in the 86th minute when Reece James slammed a 25 yard free-kick against the foot of the post.

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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Leeds UnitedLeeds27166546281854
2Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd27155746281850
3Norwich CityNorwich27148549351450
4West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom27138655352047
5Middlesbrough271210530191146
6Derby CountyDerby2712783834443
7Bristol City2711883429541
8Birmingham CityBirmingham2791263930939
9Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest2791263931839
10Hull City27116103933639
11Queens Park RangersQPR27116103335-239
12Aston Villa2791174943638
13Swansea CitySwansea27107103632437
14Blackburn RoversBlackburn2791083541-637
15Stoke CityStoke2781183134-335
16Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds2788113245-1332
17Brentford27710103937231
18Preston North EndPreston2779113944-530
19Wigan AthleticWigan2785142840-1229
20Millwall2777133343-1028
21Rotherham UnitedRotherham27510122542-1725
22Reading2758143041-1123
23Bolton WanderersBolton2757151840-2222
24Ipswich TownIpswich2739152246-2418

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