Wigan draw relegates Hull
Tigers show spirit but concede late equaliser at the DW
By James Riach. Last Updated: 03/05/10 4:11pm
Rodallega shoots at goal
Hull City have been officially relegated from the Premier League after they conceded a late goal to draw 2-2 at Wigan.
The Tigers were virtually down before kick-off because of their poor goal difference but the Latics put the final nail in the coffin despite a spirited display from Iain Dowie's side.
Wigan took the lead thanks to a fantastic effort from Victor Moses on the half-hour mark, but Hull youngster Will Atkinson equalised with a header three minutes before the break.
The away team then went in front in the 64th minute when another youngster, striker Mark Cullen, ghosted in at the backpost to head in past goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic.
But they could not hang on for the win and Steve Gohouri's spectacular injury-time overhead kick from close range sealed Hull's fate.
Wigan, who had secured survival last weekend, move up to 15th after rescuing their final home game of the season.
The hosts made a bright start, with Jordi Gomez sending a drive just wide of
Matt Duke's left-hand post in the fourth minute and Hugo Rodallega having a close-range effort deflected behind shortly after. Gary Caldwell rose to meet the corner but could not connect properly.
At the other end, former Wigan midfielder Kevin Kilbane broke into the box but the danger was cleared by Gohouri. A minute later, goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic's poor kick fell straight to Cullen, who played a one-two with Atkinson before sending in a cross that Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink headed off-target.
Kilbane then picked out Atkinson in the box, who caught it first-time but saw his strike parried by Stojkovic, and the Irishman got a shot away himself in the 22nd minute which was wide of the mark.
Having soaked up some pressure, the Latics looked to hit back and Gomez deftly slipped Rodallega in on goal only for Steven Mouyokolo to make a vital interception.
The deadlock was broken on the half-hour thanks to a moment of quality from
Moses, who collected Mohamed Diame's through-ball on the left, cut inside two defenders and lashed the ball across Duke and in off the far post.
Minutes later Moses had the chance to add another, but mis-cued his attempt from a knocked-down corner.
Hull had never been out of the match and three minutes before the break they found the equaliser they deserved, although in controversial circumstances.
Atkinson was the scorer, nodding Kilbane's cross past Stojkovic, but the goal appeared to have been ruled out for offside.
However, much to the consternation of Wigan's players, referee Phil Dowd chose to overrule his assistant, and Hull went in level at half-time.
The Tigers emerged for the second half looking lively and felt they deserved a penalty for handball when Maynor Figueroa blocked Cullen's shot.
But the endeavour of Gomez and Rodallega then led to a flurry of Wigan chances.
Gomez brought a save out of Duke with a shot from outside the area, and Rodallega tried to capitalise on some woeful Hull defending but fired wide.
The Colombian then made a better attempt, shooting just over after bringing down a ball on the run and he then teed up Gomez with a clever backheel that the Spaniard volleyed wide.
The Latics appeared to have all the momentum, but in the 64th minute Hull found themselves in front, with another young player getting his first senior goal.
This time it was teenager Cullen, who looked as if he could have been offside when he evaded his marker to head George Boateng's cross past Stojkovic.
Cullen tried his luck again with a drive 10 minutes from time but the effort went high and wide.
Moments later Wigan boss Roberto Martinez threw on Paul Scharner, who had the message 'thanx' dyed into his hair.
And Scharner provided the assist for Gohouri in the dying moments as he fired an over-head kick past Duke.Dowd and the stewards then had to deal with a pitch invasion before a final minute was played out and Hull's fate was sealed.
|Wigan Athletic||Team Statistics||Hull City|
|1||1st Half Goals||1|
|3||Shots on Target||3|
|7||Shots off Target||3|
Barclays Premier League
|11||West Ham United||37||47|
|13||West Bromwich Albion||37||44|
|20||Queens Park Rangers||37||30|